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Title: Presidential Candidates: - containing Sketches, Biographical, Personal and Political, - of Prominent Candidates for the Presidency in 1860
Author: Bartlett, D. W.
Language: English
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Prominent Candidates for the Presidency

IN 1860.




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for
the Southern District of New York.

W. H. TIMSON, Stereotyper.      GEO. RUSSELL & CO., Printers.


The sketches in this volume vary in length and minuteness, not from a
disposition, on my part, to withhold facts, but because a few of my
subjects are too cautious to allow their private history to go before
the public; nevertheless, the work contains full and accurate details
of the private and public history of our "PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES"--not
one of whom has any idea of the position I have assigned him.

In selecting candidates, of course, I have followed my own
judgment--had I made use of everybody's, I might fill a dozen volumes.
I have sketched _the prominent men_ who have been named in connection
with the Presidency in 1860. Messrs. Buchanan and Pierce I have passed
over as men who have gone through a campaign--and through a
Presidential term--and the people know them. It is the men who have
not run the race for Presidential honors--the new men--of whom the
public would learn something, or I have made a mistake in writing this
book. The general reader will easily find in the volume the position
of any candidate on the issues of the day; and possibly, beside,
interesting personal details which show the character of the man.





WILLIAM H. SEWARD,                     7


STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS,                   51


SALMON P. CHASE,                      95


EDWARD BATES,                        118


DANIEL S. DICKINSON,                 127


JOHN BELL,                           150


JOHN P. HALE,                        161


ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS,               179


N. P. BANKS,                         198


JOSEPH LANE,                         205


JOHN MCLEAN,                         218


HENRY A. WISE,                       233


R. M. T. HUNTER,                     244


HENRY WILSON,                        251


JEFFERSON DAVIS,                     295


JAMES L. ORR,                        305


JOHN MINOR BOTTS,                    316


JAMES H. HAMMOND,                    322


HOWELL COBB,                         333


JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,                336


JOHN C. FREMONT,                     346



The stranger who enters the hall of the United States Senate and casts
his eye over the array of senators, will be not a little surprised,
possibly somewhat amused, when William H. Seward is pointed out to
him. Accustomed to think of Mr. Seward as one of the greatest men in
the country, a first-class statesman, as well as orator--for he has
_read_, not _heard_, his numberless speeches upon the subjects of the
day--he expected to find a gentleman of imposing aspect, to discover
the impressive appearance which awes the stranger, or the audience.
But, instead of this, he finds a quiet man, sitting in his seat,
listening with imperturbable calmness to every senator who chooses to
speak, however dry, however provoking, however stupid. For Mr. Seward
is well known to be _the best listener_ in the Senate. This arises
from his rigid politeness, if we may use the phrase, which will not
allow him to refuse his ear and eye to any man who chooses to speak.
There he sits, leaning back in his chair, a slender man, of average
height, clad in simple black, with a singular face, grey eyes, grey
hair, Roman nose, a second Wellington, ever in repose. Who ever saw
William H. Seward excited? He is never to be provoked by friend or
enemy, and is either devoid of all sensibility, or has a spirit which
can triumph over, soar above, the common infirmities of poor human
nature. We have seen Mr. Seward on two very trying occasions. One,
when Mr. Hale, his friend and seat-mate, thought it his duty to
severely criticise his vote on the army bill (this was in the winter
of 1857-8), and in which criticism he was very personal. Mr. Seward
sat composedly in his seat during the painful review of his brother
senator, and rose to reply as pleasantly and as quietly as he ever did
in his life.

On another occasion, when the Senate sat late in the night on the
Cuban bill--last spring--Mr. Toombs made a fierce, and we must say
disgraceful attack upon Mr. Seward, calling him, among other names, "a
tuppenny demagogue." During the entire harangue by the Georgian
senator, Mr. Seward twirled his spectacles, unconsciously, and in his
reply was slow, freezingly cold, and never for a moment addressed or
looked at Mr. Toombs. These facts show that Mr. Seward purposely
refuses in public to allow himself to be angered by personalities or
to offer there personalities. He guards constantly against the
temptation to offend in this particular. He has often been accused by
ardent Republicans of lacking courage, physical courage, and that he
did not reply to the attacks of his southern enemies with sufficient
spirit. It is a mistake to ascribe this conduct of Mr. Seward to
cowardice. It is the result of deliberate thought in him--and if it is
mistaken policy, then of course it is to be set down as a blunder, not
a vice.

When Mr. Seward speaks, he again disappoints the stranger. There is no
_manner_, none of the acts of the orator are to be seen. He leans
against the top of his chair, and in an easy, conversational manner
_talks_ to the Senate, all the time swinging his spectacles to and fro
as if at the fireside.

With his arms folded, and leaning back upon the lofty railing in the
old Senate hall, we heard Mr. Seward deliver such startling sentiments
as these:

    "I think, with great deference to the judgments of others, that
    the expedient, peaceful, and right way to determine it, is to
    reverse the existing policy of intervention in favor of slave
    labor and slave States. It would be wise to restore the Missouri
    prohibition of slavery in Kansas and Nebraska. There was peace in
    the territories and in the States until that great statute of
    Freedom was subverted. It is true that there were frequent debates
    here on the subject of slavery, and that there were profound
    sympathies among the people, awakened by or responding to those
    debates. But what was Congress instituted for but debate? What
    makes the American people to differ from all other nations, but
    this--that while among them power enforces silence, here all
    public questions are referred to debate, free debate in Congress.
    Do you tell me that the Supreme Court of the United States has
    removed the foundations of that great statute? I reply, that they
    have done no such thing; they could not do it. They have remanded
    the negro man, Dred Scott, to the custody of his master. With that
    decree we have nothing here, at least nothing now, to do. This is
    the extent of the judgment rendered, the extent of any judgment
    they could render. Already the pretended further decision is
    subverted in Kansas. So it will be in every free State and in
    every free Territory of the United States. The Supreme Court,
    also, can reverse its spurious judgment more easily than we could
    reconcile the people to its usurpation. Sir, the Supreme Court of
    the United States attempts to command the people of the United
    States to accept the principles that one man can own other men,
    and that they must guarantee the inviolability of that false and
    pernicious property. The people of the United States never can,
    and they never will, accept principles so unconstitutional and so
    abhorrent. Never, never. Let the Court recede. Whether it recede
    or not, we shall reorganize the Court, and thus reform its
    political sentiments and practices, and bring them into harmony
    with the Constitution and with the laws of nature. In doing so we
    shall not only reassume our own just authority, but we shall
    restore that high tribunal itself to the position it ought to
    maintain, since so many invaluable rights of citizens, and even of
    States themselves, depend upon its impartiality and its wisdom.

    "Do you tell me that the slave States will not acquiesce, but will
    agitate? Think first whether the free States will acquiesce in a
    decision that shall not only be unjust, but fraudulent. True, they
    will not menace the Republic. They have an easy and simple remedy,
    namely to take the government out of unjust and unfaithful hands,
    and commit it to those which will be just and faithful. They are
    ready to do this now. They want only a little more harmony of
    purpose and a little more completeness of organization. These will
    result from only the least addition to the pressure of slavery
    upon them. You are lending all that is necessary, and even more,
    in this very act. But will the slave States agitate? Why? Because
    they have lost at last a battle that they could not win, unwisely
    provoked, fought with all the advantages of strategy and
    intervention, and on a field chosen by themselves. What would they
    gain? Can they compel Kansas to adopt slavery against her will?
    Would it be reasonable or just to do it, if they could? Was negro
    servitude ever forced by the sword on any people that inherited
    the blood which circulates in our veins, and the sentiments which
    make us a free people? If they will agitate on such a ground as
    this, then how, or when, by what concessions we can make, will
    they ever be satisfied? To what end would they agitate? It can now
    be only to divide the Union. Will they not need some fairer or
    more plausible excuse for a proposition so desperate? How would
    they improve their condition, by drawing down a certain ruin upon
    themselves? Would they gain any new security for Slavery? Would
    they not hazard securities that are invaluable? Sir, they who talk
    so idly, talk what they do not know themselves. No man when cool
    can promise what he will do when he shall be inflamed; no man
    inflamed can speak for his actions when time and necessity shall
    bring reflection. Much less can any one speak for States in such

The Senate Hall was crowded--the galleries packed with a dense throng
of men and women, and the entire audience leaned forward to catch
every one of the words we have quoted, the southern senators smiling
scornfully, while some of them were speaking; yet the orator went on
as smoothly, as easily, as if he were discoursing a passage of ancient
history with a knot of tried friends, instead of dealing with great
and living issues before an audience, half of whom, to say the least,
were his bitter enemies, eagerly listening to convict him of any
imprudent or unjust sentiment.

Mr. Seward is no orator as the word is ordinarily understood. He has
little or no animation, no address, no impressiveness. It is _the
thoughts, the ideas_ of his speeches, which make them so powerful, so
widely popular. Almost any one of his speeches _reads_ better than it
delivers. Mr. Seward, long ago, must have lost all ambition to become
merely an orator--if he ever at any time indulged in such an ambition.
He speaks not to the few hundreds who can hear his voice, as he well
knows; but to millions outside the walls of the Capitol. And so he
studies his speeches, makes them truly great, and worth reading by
anybody and everybody, then commits them to memory, and recites them
in the Senate that they may go with the official stamp upon them to
the millions of readers in the free States.

Mr. Seward has long been popular in Washington--personally, we
mean--even among his political enemies. When he came to Washington, it
was with difficulty that he got a pew in one of the fashionable
churches of the capital. Association with him was then thought to be
contamination; but, long since, his hospitality, his high mindedness,
and his charitable nature, have won for him not only the respect, but
the love of many of the citizens of Washington, and some at least of
the citizens of the far southern States. No man has more bitter
political enemies than Mr. Seward, and no prominent man fewer personal
enemies. Those who know him, esteem him highly, however severely they
may condemn his political sentiments.

William Henry Seward was born in Florida, New York, May 16, 1801, and
is now 58 years old. His ancestors were of Welsh extraction upon his
father's side, and of Irish on the mother's side. His father was a
physician in the State of New York, of good character and excellent
abilities, and his mother was a woman of warm affections and a strong
and cultivated intellect. The people of the little town of Florida,
generally, were natives of New England, and the tone of society was
what some would call Puritanic. In such a village, education and good
morals were highly esteemed, and the young mind would be naturally
impressed with the importance of great truths, of morality and

William Henry, while a boy, was noted in the village where he lived,
and especially among his circle of family friends, as a great student.
His intellect was thought to be precociously developed; but if such
was the fact, none of the later effects which usually follow unnatural
precocity showed themselves in Mr. Seward's career. He was also known,
and is still remembered by his school-day friends, for that frankness,
purity and gentleness of character which now distinguish him. As a boy
he was pure, and a brother senator remarked of Mr. Seward in our
hearing the other day, "He is the purest public man I ever knew!"

When nine years old, he was sent to school at an academy in Goshen, N.
Y. At fifteen, the pale, thin, studious lad entered Union College at
Schenectady, where he very rapidly distinguished himself by his
application, his brilliant talents and the gentleness of his character
and disposition. His favorite studies were rhetoric, moral philosophy
and the ancient classics. He was a close and thorough student. He rose
at four in the morning and sat up late at night. It was here that he
acquired those habits of continuous mental toil which have
characterized him since he came to public life.

Mr. Seward graduated from Union College with distinguished honors.
Among his fellow-graduates were Judge Kent, Dr. Hickok, Professor
Lewis, and other eminent men. Shortly after leaving college, Mr.
Seward entered the law office of John Anthon, in the city of New York,
where, as in college, his unusual devotion to his studies attracted
the attention of his teachers and led his friends to prognosticate for
him a brilliant future. He finished his legal studies with Judge Duer
and Ogden Hoffman, in Goshen, and was admitted to the bar of the
Supreme Court of New York at Utica in 1822.

In 1823, Mr. Seward took up his residence in the pretty village of
Auburn, N.Y. which to this day is his "home," and will always be his
abiding place. He became, in 1824 the law-partner of Judge Miller of
Auburn and married his youngest daughter, Frances Adeline Miller. The
fruits of this marriage were five children, one of whom died young,
another took to the army, another to the law, and the remaining two
are comparatively young.

Mr. Seward's personal appearance cannot be said to be prepossessing,
yet there are fine points in his personal appearance. His ways are
modest, his brow and eyes have, however, a sleepy aspect, which has
been fostered by his habit of snuffing and smoking tobacco

The first time we saw Mr. Seward was at his home--the pretty village
of Auburn--beneath the roof of a mutual friend. His face struck us at
first unpleasantly, for it seemed too lifeless and expressionless for
a man with so much mind, so great an intellect; but in a few moments
the clouds passed off and the clear vault of his intellect was open to
the eye. His eye grew bright and the fascination of his conversation
was at once felt. The compact brow expressed power, the eye genius,
the lips force of character, the whole body stately dignity, as well
as frankness. In his manners and conversation both in private and in
public, Mr. Seward is one of the most natural of men. Nothing is
forced or affected, but a pleasant negligence characterizes his

Some men pass for great men because they are physically great and
dignified, and because they utter few words and those in a sententious
manner. Mr. Seward is not one of these dignitaries, but has won his
greatness by _hard work_. He never was one of those brilliant geniuses
who suddenly startle the world, but wrought out his reputation, and
_earned_ the honor which has been so freely accorded to him by his

In Auburn, Mr. Seward has long been personally very popular. His
position is a happy one. He has moderate wealth--enough for all his
wants--and there at least--however much his hospitality in the Capitol
may savor of splendor--there he lives in plain, almost frugal style.
He has for years been a member of the Episcopal church at Auburn.

Mr. Seward's father was a Jeffersonian Democrat, and he naturally
accepted the politics of his father; but not long after he began to
practise law, he left the Democratic party for the opposition. When
the Missouri Compromise roused the North from its slumbers, he sided
almost instinctively with the friends of freedom, and made several
public speeches during the excitement against any compromise with
slavery. In 1830, he was elected to the State Senate on anti-Masonic
grounds. In 1833, he made the tour of Europe. One year later, he was
nominated for governor of the State of New York by the Whig party, and
was defeated. In 1838, he was again nominated to that office, and was
elected by ten thousand majority. When his term had expired, he was
again elected to the same honorable post. While governor of New York
he made her respected and admired throughout the world. He used all
his influence and power for the repeal of all State laws which in any
manner countenanced the institution of negro slavery. The law which
permitted a southern slaveholder to retain possession of his slave
while travelling through the State, was repealed. A law was also
passed which allowed a fugitive the benefit of a jury-trial, and
prohibiting State officers from assisting in the recovery of
fugitives, and also denying the use of the jails for the confinement
of fugitive slaves under arrest. The Supreme Court pronounced most of
these laws unconstitutional afterward. Another law was passed, chiefly
through the influence of Mr. Seward, for the recovery of kidnapped
colored citizens of New York. Under the operation of this humane
enactment, Solomon Northup, who for twelve years had been forced to
toil upon a far distant southern plantation, was rescued and brought
back to his friends. The story of his case was published afterward and
had a very large sale.

To crown his official acts, Mr. Seward, just before retiring from his
gubernatorial office, recommended the abolition of that law requiring
a freehold qualification of negro voters.

The governor of Virginia made a requisition upon him for the surrender
of certain parties accused of assisting slaves to escape from their
owners. He refused to comply with the demand, upon the ground that the
article in the Constitution authorizing a demand of fugitives from
justice covered only such persons as were criminals by the laws of the
several States and the civilized world. Aiding a slave to escape from
his master, in his opinion, was no crime, and he did not feel it to be
his duty to surrender the accused. A long controversy was the result
of this bold decision, and retaliatory measures were tried by the
State of Virginia, but Governor Seward remained firm to the end.

In 1847, Mr. Seward defended John Van Zandt, who was accused of aiding
the escape of slaves from their master, at the bar of the Supreme
Court of the United States. It was one of the most eloquent arguments
he ever made, and he would not accept of a dollar's compensation for
his great effort.

While riding once upon the banks of the beautiful Owasco Lake, the
friend who was with us, pointed out a pleasant farmhouse as the scene,
a few years before, of a terrible murder, and not far distant, in a
lonely churchyard, we saw the graves of the victims. A negro of the
name of William Freeman, at the age of sixteen, was sent to the State
Prison for five years, for alleged horse-stealing. He declared his
innocence of the charge, and it has since been admitted by those who
tried him, that he was doubtless an innocent man; but, through the
false swearing of the real thief, he was sent to prison. The injustice
of his punishment, coupled with barbarous treatment while in prison,
resulted in an idiotic insanity, and when, at last, he was set free,
his term of imprisonment having expired, he went forth an idiot--a
lunatic--with but one idea in his brain--that the outside world had
most foully wronged him.

One night, without a spark of provocation, this wretched negro entered
the house of a Mr. Van Nest and killed him, his wife, a child, and his
mother, a woman of seventy. He was arrested the next day, and such was
the terrible state of excitement in and around Auburn, that it was
with great difficulty that the people were restrained from hanging the
culprit up to the most convenient tree. The negro, idiot that he was,
confessed the murder and laughed over it. This enraged the people
still more, and they clamored for his blood. Seward had acquired much
popularity in his arguments in criminal cases, and his neighbors
became at once alarmed for fear he would defend the negro. He was
absent then at the South, and such was the frantic state of the people
of Auburn that his law-partners announced that he would not defend the
case. But Mr. Seward was his own master still, and though he saw what
the feeling was, and that the negro was sure to be brought in guilty,
yet as the miserable man was friendless, he examined most carefully
into the case and came to the deliberate conclusion that Freeman was
insane. Hoping that other counsel would appear, he did not offer his
services. The day of trial came, and the villagers hoped that no
lawyer _dared_ to defend the criminal. The indictment was read against
him, and he was asked if he plead guilty or not guilty. The only reply
he made was "Ha!" He was asked if he had counsel--"he didn't know."
The poor wretch had no idea of what was transpiring, that he was upon
his trial for life. At this juncture, Mr. Seward, who was present, was
entirely overcome by his feelings, but he in a moment answered:

"May it please the court: _I shall remain counsel for the prisoner
until his death_." For two weeks, in the hottest of weather, he
conducted the defence, without pay. He was subjected to insult from
some of his old friends, and the feeling of the town was strongly
against him. The well known John Van Buren was the District Attorney,
and with the predetermination of the jury, of course a verdict of
"guilty," was rendered. Mr. Seward's argument was one of the finest he
ever made. Alluding to the unpopularity which he had brought upon
himself by his course, he said:

"In due time, gentlemen of the jury, when I shall have paid the debt
of nature, my remains will rest here in your midst with those of my
kindred and neighbors. It is very possible they may be unhonored,
neglected, spurned! But perhaps years hence, when the passion and
excitement which now agitate this community shall have passed
away--some wandering stranger--some lone exile--some _Indian_, some
_negro_, may erect over them a humble stone, and thereon write this
epitaph, 'HE WAS FAITHFUL.'"

An Appellate Court granted a new trial, but before it came on the
criminal died. A post mortem examination revealed the fact that his
brain was _one mass of disease, and nearly destroyed_! Mr. Seward was
suddenly and unexpectedly set right again before the people, and was
restored to the old place in their affections.

We have noticed this portion of Mr. Seward's life because it
effectually disposes of that cry raised against him by certain
persons, that he is a demagogue. No demagogue defends the poor and
forsaken, at the expense of personal popularity. He flatters the
prejudices of the people and does not go across them to his own

Mr. Seward was elected, in 1849, to the Senate of the United States,
where he has remained to this day. His course is everywhere known. He
was a Whig, and is of course warmly in favor of a Protective Tariff
and other prominent Whig measures, though he subordinates them all to
the great question of Human Freedom.

As a Whig, Mr. Seward was the friend of the slave. He opposed the
famous compromise measures of 1850, struggled against the repeal of
the Missouri Compromise--came slowly into the Republican movement, but
when once in it, no man could excel him, and few equal, in hearty
devotion to the party and its cause. From the first, he condemned the
great American movement, and has lost popularity in some quarters for
doing so. He is in favor of internal improvements and a homestead law,
as his votes will show. He objects to any hasty, irritating attempts
to buy or take Cuba--no insults--let everything be done fairly and
gentlemanly; and, if the pear drops to the ground ripe, eat the fruit.
_But no fruit-stealing, or buying at ruinous prices!_

A friend of Mr. Seward speaks of Mr. Seward's style in the following

"His rapid idealization, his oriental affluence, though not vagueness
of expression, and the Ciceronian flow of his language, proceeding not
from the heat of youth or the vapors of wine, but from the exceeding
fertility of his imagination, combine to render him an interesting
speaker. Yet his enunciation is neither clear nor distinct, and the
tones of his voice often grate harshly upon the ear. He is not devoid
of grace, however; he is calm and dignified, but earnest.

"His style is elegant rather than neat; elaborate rather than
finished. It possesses a sparkling vivacity, but is somewhat deficient
in energetic brevity. It is not always easy, for there is more labor
than art; but if the wine has an agreeable _bouquet_, the connoisseur
delights to have it linger. Like young D'Israeli, whose political
position, in some respects, resembles his own, he has occasionally a
tendency to restore declamation, a natural predilection perhaps for
Milesian floridness and hyperbole, and, like Napoleon, a love for
gorgeous paradoxes. But, in general, his words are well-chosen and are
frequently more eloquent than the ideas. His sentences are all
constructed with taste; they have often the brilliancy of Mirabeau,
and the glowing fervor of Fox."

We must notice a few quotations from a very few of Mr. Seward's most
prominent speeches. At Detroit, Oct. 2, 1856, he spoke upon "The
Slaveholding Class," to a mass convention, in which he first argued
that the aggrandizement of the slaveholding class, to the detriment of
the rest of the people of the country, is a perversion of the
Constitution. He then, in a masterly style, gave a sketch of the
condition of the country--showed the organization of the courts, of
Congress, of the departments--all--all entirely in the control of the
slaveholding class--and closed with the subjoined paragraphs:

    "Mark, if you please, that thus far I have only shown you the mere
    governmental organization of the slaveholding class in the United
    States, and pointed out its badges of supremacy, suggestive of
    your own debasement and humiliation. Contemplate now the reality
    of the power of that class, and the condition to which the cause
    of human nature has been reduced. In all the free States, the
    slaveholder argues and debates the pretensions of his class, and
    even prosecutes his claim for his slave before the delegate of the
    Federal Government, with safety and boldness, as he ought. He
    exhorts the citizens of the free States to acquiesce, and even
    threatens them, in their very homes, with the terrors of disunion,
    if that acquiescence is withheld; and he does all this with
    safety, as he ought, if it be done at all. He is listened to with
    patience, and replied to with decorum, even in his most arrogant
    declamations, in the halls of Congress. Through the effective
    sympathy of other property classes, the slaveholding power
    maintains with entire safety a press and permanent political
    organizations in all the free States. On the contrary, if you
    except the northern border of Delaware, there is nowhere in any
    slaveholding State personal safety for a citizen, even of that
    State itself, who questions the rightful national domination of
    the slaveholding class. Debate of its pretensions in the halls of
    Congress is carried on at the peril of limb and life. A free press
    is no sooner set up in a slaveholding State than it is demolished,
    and citizens who assemble peacefully to discuss even the extremest
    claims of slavery, are at first cautioned, and, if that is
    ineffectual, banished or slain, even more surely than the
    resistants of military despotism in the French empire. Nor, except
    just now, has the case been much better even in the free States.
    It is only as of yesterday, when the free citizens, assembled to
    discuss the exactions of the slaveholding class, were dispersed in
    Boston, Utica, Philadelphia and New York. It is only as of
    yesterday, that when I rose, on request of citizens of Michigan,
    at Marshall, to speak of the great political questions of the day,
    I was enjoined not to make disturbance or to give offence by
    speaking of free soil, even on the ground which the Ordinance of
    1787 had saved to freedom. It was only as of yesterday that
    Protestant churches and theological seminaries, built on Puritan
    foundations, vied with the organs of the slaveholding class in
    denouncing a legislator who, in the act of making laws affecting
    its interests, declared that all human laws ought to be conformed
    to the standard of eternal justice. The day has not even yet
    passed when the press, employed in the service of education and
    morality, expurgates from the books which are put into the hands
    of the young all reflections on slavery. The day yet lasts when
    the flag of the United States flaunts defiance on the high seas
    over cargoes of human merchandise. Nor is there an American
    representative anywhere, in any of the four quarters of the globe,
    that does not labor to suppress even there the discussion of
    American slavery, lest it may possibly affect the safety of the
    slaveholding class at home. If, in a generous burst of sympathy
    with the struggling Protestant democracy of Europe, we bring off
    the field one of their fallen champions, to condole with and
    comfort him, we suddenly discern that the mere agitation of the
    principles of freedom tend to alarm the slaveholding class, and we
    cast him off again as a waif, not merely worthless, but dangerous
    to ourselves. The natural and ancient order of things is reversed;
    freedom has become subordinate, sectional and local; slavery, in
    its influence and combinations, has become predominant, national
    and general. Free, direct and manly utterance in the cause of
    freedom, even in the free States themselves, leads to ostracism,
    while superserviceability to the slaveholding class alone secures
    preferment in the national councils. The descendants of Franklin,
    and Hamilton, and Jay, and King, are unprized--

                 ----'Till they learn to betray,
        Undistinguish'd they live, if they shame not their sires,
          And the torch that would light them to dignity's way,
        Must be caught from the pile when the country expires.'

    "In this course of rapid public demoralization, what wonder is it
    that the action of the Government tends continually with fearfully
    augmenting force to the aggrandizement of the slaveholding class?
    A government can never be better or wiser, or even so good or so
    wise as the people over whom it presides? Who can wonder, then,
    that the Congress of the United States, in 1820, gave to slavery
    the west bank of the Mississippi quite up to the present line of
    Kansas, and was content to save for freedom, out of the vast
    region of Louisiana, only Kansas and Nebraska! Who can wonder that
    it consented to annex and admit Texas, with power to subdivide
    herself into five slave States, so as to secure the slaveholding
    class a balance against the free States then expected to be
    ultimately organized in Kansas and Nebraska? Who can wonder, that
    when this annexation of Texas brought on a war with Mexico, which
    ended in the annexation of Upper California and New Mexico, every
    foot of which was free from African slavery, Congress divided that
    vast territory, reluctantly admitting the new State of California
    as a free State, because she would not consent to establish
    slavery, dismembered New Mexico, transferred a large portion of it
    to slaveholding Texas, and stipulated that what remained of New
    Mexico, together with Utah, should be received as slave States if
    the people thereof should so demand? Who can wonder that the
    President, without any reproof by Congress, simultaneously offered
    to Spain two hundred millions of dollars for the purchase of Cuba,
    that it might be divided into two slaveholding States, to be
    admitted as members of the Federal Union, and at the same time
    menaced the European Powers with war should they interfere to
    prevent the consummation of the purchase? Who can wonder that,
    emboldened with these concessions of the people, Congress at last
    sanctioned a reprisal by the slaveholding class upon the regions
    of Kansas and Nebraska, not on the ground of justice or for an
    equivalent, but simply on the ground that the original concession
    of them to freedom was extorted by injustice and unconstitutional
    oppression by the free States? Who can wonder that the
    slaveholding class, when it had obtained the sanction of Congress
    to that reprisal, by giving a pledge that the people of those
    territories should be perfectly free, nevertheless, to establish
    freedom therein, invaded the territory of Kansas with armed
    forces, inaugurated an usurpation, and established slavery there,
    and disfranchised the supporters of freedom by tyrannical laws,
    enforced by fire and sword, and that the President and Senate
    maintain and uphold the slaveholding interests in these
    culminating demonstrations of their power, while the House of
    Representatives lacks the power, because it is wanting in the
    virtue, to rescue the interests of justice, freedom, and humanity?
    Who can wonder that federal courts in Massachusetts indict
    defenders of freedom for sedition, and in Pennsylvania subvert the
    State tribunals, and pervert the _habeas corpus_, the great writ
    of Liberty, into a process for arresting fugitive slaves, and
    construe into contempt, punishable by imprisonment without bail or
    mainprize, the simple and truthful denial of personal control over
    a fugitive female slave, who has made her own voluntary escape
    from bondage? Who can wonder that in Kansas lawyers may not plead
    or juries be empannelled in the Federal Courts, nor can even
    citizens vote, without first swearing to support the Fugitive
    Slave Law and the Kansas and Nebraska act, while citizens who
    discuss through the press the right of slaveholders to domineer
    there, are punished with imprisonment or death; free bridges, over
    which citizens who advocate free institutions, may pass, free
    taverns where they may rest, and free presses through which they
    may speak, are destroyed under indictments for nuisances; and
    those who peacefully assemble to debate the grievances of that
    class, and petition Congress for relief, are indicted for high

    "Just now, the wind sets with some apparent steadiness at the
    North, and you will readily confess therefore that I do not
    exaggerate the growing aggrandizement of the slaveholding class,
    but you will nevertheless insist that that aggrandizement is now
    and may be merely temporary and occasional. A moment's reflection,
    however, will satisfy you that this opinion is profoundly untrue.
    What is now seen is only the legitimate maturing of errors
    unresisted through a period of more than thirty years. All the
    fearful evils now upon us are only the inevitable results of
    efforts to extinguish, by delays, concession, and compromises, a
    discussion to which justice, reason and humanity, are continually
    lending their elemental fires.

    "What, then, is the tendency of this aggrandizement of the slave
    interests, and what must be its end, if it be not now or speedily
    arrested? Immediate consequences are distinctly in view. The
    admission of Kansas into the Union as a slave State, the
    subsequent introduction of slavery, by means equally flagrant,
    into Nebraska, and the admission of Utah with the twin patriarchal
    institutions of legalized adultery and slavery, and these three
    achievements crowned with the incorporation of Cuba into the
    Republic. Beyond these visible fields lies a region of fearful
    speculation--the restoration of the African slave trade, and the
    desecration of all Mexico and Central America, by the infliction
    upon the half-civilized Spanish and Indian races dwelling there,
    by our hands, of a curse from which, inferior as they are to
    ourselves, they have had the virtue once to redeem themselves.
    Beyond this last surveyed, lies that of civil and servile wars,
    national decline and--RUIN!

    "I fear to open up these distant views, because I know that you
    will attribute my apprehensions to a morbid condition of mind. But
    confining myself to the immediate future which is so fearfully
    visible, I ask you in all candor, first, whether I have ever
    before exaggerated the aggrandizement of the slaveholding class.
    Secondly, whether the movement that I now forbode is really more
    improbable than the evils once seemed, which are now a startling

    "How are these immediate evils, and whatever of greater evils that
    are behind them, to be prevented? Do you expect that those who
    have heretofore counselled compromise, acquiescence, and
    submission, will change their course and come to the rescue of
    liberty? Even if this were a reasonable hope, are Cass, and
    Douglass, and Buchanan, greater or better than the statesmen who
    have opened the way of compromise, and led these modern statesmen
    into it? And if they indeed are so much greater and so much
    better, do you expect them to live forever?

    "Perhaps you expect the slaveholding class will abate its
    pretensions, and practise voluntarily the moderation which you
    wish, but dare not demand at its hands. How long, and with what
    success, have you waited already for that reformation? Did any
    property class ever so reform itself? Did the patricians in old
    Rome, the noblesse or the clergy of France? The landholders in
    Ireland? The landed aristocracy in England? Does the slaveholding
    class even seek to beguile you with such a hope? Has it not become
    rapacious, arrogant, defiant? Is it not waging civil war against
    Freedom, wherever it encounters real resistance? No! no! you have
    let the lion and the spotted leopard into the sheep-fold. They
    certainly will not die of hunger there, nor retire from disgust
    with satiety. They will remain there so long as renewed appetite
    shall find multiplied prey. Be not self-deceived. Whenever a
    property class of any kind is invited by society to oppress, it
    will continue to oppress. Whenever a slaveholding class finds the
    non-slaveholding classes yielding, it will continue its work of

    "You admit all this, and you ask how are these great evils, now so
    apparent, to be corrected--these great dangers, now so manifest,
    to be avoided. I answer, it is to be done, not as some of you have
    supposed, by heated debates sustained by rifles or revolvers at
    Washington, nor yet by sending armies with supplies and Sharpe's
    rifles into Kansas. I condemn no necessary exercise of the right
    of self-defence, anywhere. Public safety is necessary to the
    practice of the real duties of champions of Freedom. But this is a
    contest in which the race is not to the physically swift, nor the
    battle to those who have most muscular strength. Least of all is
    it to be won by retaliation and revenge. The victory will be to
    those who shall practise the highest moral courage, with simple
    fidelity to the principles of humanity and justice.
    Notwithstanding all the heroism of your champions in Washington
    and Kansas, the contest will be fearfully endangered, if the
    slaveholding class shall win the President and the Congress in
    this great national canvass. Even although every one of these
    champions should perish in his proper field, yet the Rights of Man
    will be saved, and the tide of oppression will be rolled back from
    our northern plains, if a President and a Congress shall be chosen
    who are true to freedom. The people and the people only are
    sovereign and irresistible, whether they will the ascendency of
    slavery or the triumph of liberty.

    "Harsh as my words may have seemed, I do my kinsmen and brethren
    of the free States no such injustice as to deny that great
    allowances are to be made for the demoralization I have described.
    We inherited complicity with the slaveholding class, and with it
    prejudices of caste. We inherited confidence and affection toward
    our Southern brethren--and with these, our political
    organizations, and profound reverence for political authorities,
    all adverse to the needful discussion of slavery. Above all, we
    inherited a fear of the dissolution of the Union, which can only
    be unwholesome when it ceases equally to affect the conduct of all
    the great parties to that sacred compact. All these inheritances
    have created influences upon our political conduct, which are
    rather to be deplored than condemned. I trust that at last these
    influences are about to cease. I trust so, because, if we have
    inherited the demoralization of slavery, we have also attained the
    virtue required for emancipation. If we have inherited prejudices
    of caste, we have also risen to the knowledge that political
    safety is dependent on the rendering of equal and exact justice to
    all men. And if we have suffered our love for the Union to be
    abused so as to make us tolerate the evils that more than all
    others endanger it, we have discerned that great error at last. If
    we should see a citizen who had erected a noble edifice, sit down
    inactively in its hall, avoiding all duty and enterprise, lest he
    might provoke enemies to pull it down over his head, or one who
    had built a majestic vessel, moor it to the wharf, through fear
    that he might peradventure run it upon the rocks, we should
    condemn his fatuity and folly. We have learned at last that the
    American people labor not only under the responsibility of
    preserving this Union, but also under the responsibility of making
    it subserve the advancement of justice and humanity, and that
    neglect of this last responsibility involves the chief peril to
    which the Union is exposed.

    "I shall waste little time on the newly-invented apologies for
    continued demoralization. The question now to be decided is,
    whether a slaveholding class exclusively shall govern America, or
    whether it shall only bear divided sway with non-slaveholding
    citizens. It concerns all persons equally, whether they are
    Protestants or Catholics, native-born or exotic citizens. And
    therefore it seems to me that this is no time for trials of
    strength between the native-born and the adopted freeman, or
    between any two branches of one common Christian brotherhood.

    "As little shall I dwell on merely personal partialities or
    prejudices affecting the candidates for public trusts. Each fitly
    personates the cause he represents. Beyond a doubt, Mr. Buchanan
    is faithful to the slaveholding class, as Mr. Fillmore vacillates
    between it and its opponents. I know Mr. Fremont well; and when I
    say that I know that he combines extraordinary genius and
    unquestionable sincerity of purpose with unusual modesty, I am
    sure that you will admit that he is a true representative of the
    Cause of Freedom.

    "Discarding sectionalism, and loving my country and all its parts,
    and bearing an affection even to the slaveholding class, none the
    less sincere because it repels me, I cordially adopt the motto
    which it too often hangs out to delude us. I know no North, no
    South, no East, and no West; for I know that he who would offer an
    acceptable sacrifice in the present crisis must conform himself to
    the divine instructions, that neither in this mountain, nor yet at
    Jerusalem, shall we worship the Father; but the hour cometh, and
    now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in
    spirit and in truth.

    "Last of all, I stop not to argue with those who decry agitation
    and extol conservatism, not knowing that conservatism is of two
    kinds--that one which, yielding to cowardly fear of present
    inconvenience or danger, covers even political leprosy with
    protecting folds; and that other and better conservatism, that
    heals, in order that the body of the Commonwealth may be healthful
    and immortal.

    "Fellow-citizens, I am aware that I have spoken with seriousness
    amounting to solemnity. Do not infer from thence that I am
    despondent or distrustful of present triumph and ultimate
    regeneration. It has required a strong pressure upon the
    main-spring of the public virtue to awaken its elasticity. Such
    pressure has reached the centre of the spring at last. They who
    have reckoned that its elasticity was lost, are now discovering
    their profound mistake. The people of the United States have
    dallied long with the cactus, and floated carelessly on the calm
    seas that always reflect summer skies, but they have not lost
    their preference for their own changeless _fleur de lis_, and they
    consult no other guidance, in their course over the waters, than
    that of their own bright, particular, and constant star, the
    harbinger of Liberty."

Mr. Seward's famous Rochester speech has been so often misquoted and
misrepresented that we will quote from it a few passages:

    "The slave system is one of constant danger, distrust, suspicion
    and watchfulness. It debases those whose toil alone can produce
    wealth and resources for defence, to the lowest degree of which
    human nature is capable, to guard against mutiny and insurrection,
    and thus wastes energies which otherwise might be employed in
    national development and aggrandizement.

    "The free-labor system educates all alike, and, by opening all the
    fields of industrial employment, and all the departments of
    authority, to the unchecked and equal rivalry of all classes of
    men, at once secures universal contentment, and brings into the
    highest possible activity all the physical, moral and social
    energies of the State. In States where the slave system prevails,
    the masters, directly or indirectly, secure all political power,
    and constitute a ruling aristocracy. In the States where the
    free-labor system prevails, universal suffrage necessarily
    obtains, and the State inevitably becomes, sooner or later, a
    republic or democracy.

    "Russia yet maintains slavery, and is a despotism. Most of the
    other European states have abolished slavery, and adopted the
    system of free labor. It was the antagonistic political tendencies
    of the two systems which the first Napoleon was contemplating when
    he predicted that Europe would ultimately be either all Cossack or
    all Republican. Never did human sagacity utter a more pregnant
    truth. The two systems are at once perceived to be incongruous,
    but they are more than incongruous, they are incompatible. They
    never have permanently existed together in one country, and they
    never can. It would be easy to demonstrate this impossibility,
    from the irreconcilable contrast between their great principles
    and characteristics. But the experience of mankind has
    conclusively established it. Slavery, as I have already intimated,
    existed in every state in Europe. Free labor has supplanted it
    everywhere except in Russia and Turkey. State necessities,
    developed in modern times, are now obliging even those two nations
    to encourage and employ free labor; and already, despotic as they
    are, we find them engaged in abolishing slavery. In the United
    States, slavery came into collision with free labor at the close
    of the last century, and fell before it in New England, New York,
    New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, but triumphed over it effectually,
    and excluded it for a period yet undetermined, from Virginia, the
    Carolinas, and Georgia. Indeed, so incompatible are the two
    systems, that every new State which is organized within our
    ever-extending domain makes its first political act a choice of
    the one and an exclusion of the other, even at the cost of civil
    war, if necessary. The slave States, without law, at the last
    national election, successfully forbade, within their own limits,
    even the casting of votes for a candidate for President of the
    United States supposed to be favorable to the establishment of the
    free-labor system in the new States.

    "Hitherto, the two systems have existed in different States, but
    side by side within the American Union. This has happened because
    the Union is a confederation of States. But in another aspect, the
    United States constitute only one nation. Increase of population,
    which is filling the States out to their very borders, together
    with a new and extended net-work of railroads and other avenues,
    and an internal commerce which daily becomes more intimate, is
    rapidly bringing the States into a higher and more perfect social
    unity or consolidation. Thus these antagonistic systems are
    continually coming into closer contact, and collision results.

    "Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think that
    it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical
    agitators, and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether.
    It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring
    forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner
    or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or
    entirely a free-labor nation. Either the cotton and rice fields of
    South Carolina and the sugar plantations of Louisiana will
    ultimately be tilled by free labor, and Charleston and New Orleans
    become marts for legitimate merchandise alone, or else the rye
    fields and wheat fields of Massachusetts and New York must again
    be surrendered by their farmers to slave culture and to the
    production of slaves, and Boston and New York become once more
    markets for trade in the bodies and souls of men. It is the
    failure to apprehend this great truth that induces so many
    unsuccessful attempts at final compromise between the slave and
    free States, and it is the existence of this great fact that
    renders all such pretended compromises, when made, vain and
    ephemeral. Startling as this saying may appear to you,
    fellow-citizens, it is by no means an original or even a modern
    one. Our forefathers knew it to be true, and unanimously acted
    upon it when they framed the Constitution of the United States.
    They regarded the existence of the servile system in so many of
    the States with sorrow and shame, which they openly confessed, and
    they looked upon the collision between them, which was then just
    revealing itself, and which we are now accustomed to deplore, with
    favor and hope. They knew that either the one or the other system
    must exclusively prevail.

    "Unlike too many of those who in modern times invoke their
    authority, they had a choice between the two. They preferred the
    system of free labor, and they determined to organize the
    Government, and so to direct its activity, that that system should
    surely and certainly prevail. For this purpose, and no other, they
    based the whole structure of government broadly on the principle
    that all men are created equal, and therefore free--little
    dreaming that within the short period of one hundred years, their
    descendants would bear to be told by any orator, however popular,
    that the utterance of that principle was merely a rhetorical
    rhapsody; or by any judge, however venerated, that it was attended
    by mental reservations, which render it hypocritical and false. By
    the ordinance of 1787, they dedicated all the national domain not
    yet polluted by slavery to free labor immediately, thenceforth and
    forever, while by the new Constitution and laws they invited
    foreign free labor from all lands under the sun, and interdicted
    the importation of African slave labor, at all times, in all
    places, and under all circumstances whatsoever. It is true that
    they necessarily and wisely modified this policy of freedom by
    leaving it to the several States, affected as they were by
    differing circumstances, to abolish slavery in their own way, and
    at their own pleasure, instead of confiding that duty to Congress,
    and that they secured to the slave States, while yet retaining the
    system of slavery, a three-fifths representation of slaves in the
    Federal Government, until they should find themselves able to
    relinquish it with safety. But the very nature of these
    modifications fortifies my position that the fathers knew that the
    two systems could not endure within the Union, and expected that
    within a short period slavery would disappear forever. Moreover,
    in order that these modifications might not altogether defeat
    their grand design of a republic maintaining universal equality,
    they provided that two-thirds of the States might amend the

    "_It remains to say on this point only one word, to guard against
    misapprehension. If these States are to again become universally
    slaveholding, I do not pretend to say with what violations of the
    Constitution that end shall be accomplished. On the other hand,
    while I do confidently believe and hope that my country will yet
    become a land of universal freedom, I do not expect that it will
    be made so otherwise than through the action of the several States
    coöperating with the Federal Government, and all acting in strict
    conformity with their respective Constitutions_."

In a speech in the Senate, last spring, March 2, 1859, Mr. Seward
said--he was speaking of the "Expenses and Revenues"--

    "We are for free trade to a practical extent, and we all are in
    favor of a judicious tariff. The exigency of this debate does not
    require me to survey the whole range of productive industry of the
    country, and to suggest a comparative system of imposts adjusted
    to them all. It would be labor lost to do so; for, as I have
    already said, it is in the House of Representatives, and not here,
    that the act originating any revision of the tariff must be
    introduced, and perfected, at least in degree. But I can say, with
    entire freedom, that it would present no ground of objection, in
    my judgment, if such a bill should be so constructed as to favor
    and encourage the mining and manufacture of iron. I select and
    distinguish this great interest, because I think that the
    disasters which have overtaken the National Treasury and have
    crushed the prosperity of the country, have resulted from neglect
    and improvidence in regard to it. We have been engaged, as most
    other civilized states have been engaged, during the last fifteen
    or twenty years, in adopting the great invention of railroads, or,
    as the Frenchmen accurately describe them, iron roads, and
    bringing it into universal use. If we could only have understood
    ourselves in the beginning of this period, and adhered
    persistently throughout to just convictions then formed, we should
    have so discriminated in our revenue system as to have made this
    great enterprise work out an establishment of the iron manufacture
    in this country, so as to derive from it our chief supplies. But
    the country has not been willing to look steadily to that ultimate
    interest. It has asked always the cheapest iron that could be
    gotten, and, of course, has demanded that the imposts should be
    fixed at the lowest possible rates. So the protection afforded by
    the tariff of 1846 gave place to a lower protection in 1857; and
    it has not been without much difficulty that at times Congress has
    been stayed from remitting all duties on foreign manufactures of
    railroad iron. The Legislatures of the States, acting on the same
    erroneous principles, have authorized combinations and
    associations on doubtful principles to force forward the same
    precipitancy of action. Loans of the credit of States, of
    counties, cities, and even towns, have been authorized, to furnish
    capital to railroad corporations, and at the same time they have
    been continually allowed to borrow money, at usurious and ruinous
    rates of interest. Securities thus obtained, doubted and
    comparatively valueless at home, have been pledged to the iron
    manufacturers abroad, and their enterprise has been excessively
    stimulated, while that of our own manufacturers has been
    disheartened and suppressed. These improvement measures have at
    last produced their inevitable effect--an undue diversion of
    capital into railroad enterprises, a derangement of internal
    exchanges at home, and a collapse of the national credit abroad,
    and a suspension equally of domestic manufactures and of foreign
    commerce. Such are the legitimate results of the improvidence
    which caused roads to be built of foreign iron, over the coal and
    iron beds in our mountains. I hope, sir, that the House of
    Representatives will make the needed initial step in a return to a
    wise policy, and will send the miner once more with his torch into
    the deserted chambers where the coal and the ore are stored away
    by the hand of nature, and will adopt such a policy as will
    rekindle the slumbering fires in the forges and furnaces of
    Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Tennessee and Missouri. It
    would be a benevolent work. I do not say that I would force the
    Government to assume it merely as a work of benevolence; but I do
    say, that since there is need of taxes to avoid debt, I would so
    levy the taxes as to secure incidentally that benevolent object."

To show that Mr. Seward indulged in no feelings of personal hostility
toward any slaveholder, we quote from his remarks on the death of
Senator Rusk of Texas, a man in his politics _utterly_ opposed to Mr.
Seward as we can suppose any southern politician, however ultra, to

Said Mr. Seward of his fellow-senator:

    "On the last day of August, I was reëntering the port of Quebec,
    after a voyage of thirty days, in search of health, along the
    inhospitable coasts of Labrador. The sympathies of home and
    country, so long suppressed, were revived within me, and I was
    even meditating new labors and studies here, when the pilot, who
    came on board, handed me a newspaper which announced the death of
    the senator from Texas. My first emotions were those of sadness
    and sorrow over this bereavement of a personal friend. When these
    had had their time, I tried to divine why it was that he, among
    all the associates whom I honored, esteemed and loved here, was
    thus suddenly and prematurely withdrawn from the scene of our
    common labors; he for whom I thought higher honors were preparing,
    and a fuller wreath was being woven; he who seemed to me to stand
    a monument against which the waves of faction must break, if ever
    they should be stirred up from their lowest depths; he, in short,
    with whom I thought I might do so much, and without whom I could
    do almost nothing, to magnify and honor the Republic. That
    question I could not solve--I cannot solve it now. It is only
    another occasion in which I am required to trust, where I am not
    permitted to know, the ways of the Great Disposer.

    "Mr. President, the teeming thoughts of this solemn hour bring up
    once more before me the manly form and beaming countenance of my
    friend, though it is but for that formal parting which has, until
    now, been denied me. Farewell, noble patriot, heroic soldier,
    faithful statesman, generous friend! loved by no means the least,
    although among the last of friends secured. I little thought that
    our whisperings about travels over earth's fairest lands and
    broadest seas were only the suggestions of our inward natures to
    prepare for the sad journey[1] that leads through the gate of

      [1] Mr. Rusk and Mr. Seward had planned a voyage around the
      world together.

Feb. 25, 1859, the famous night session of the Senate on the Cuba
Thirty Million Bill occurred. Mr. Seward had previously spoken against
the measure, and opposed the friends of the bill, but he was treated
with courtesy till this night session, when Mr. Tombs made a fierce
onslaught upon him. Let us recall the debate:

Mr. Dixon, of Connecticut, spoke for two hours, replying to the points
of Mr. Benjamin's recent speech. Mr. Benjamin had urged, he said, that
unless we acquire Cuba, Spain will emancipate the negroes. Mr. Dixon
reasoned, that if negro freedom in Cuba would be injurious to the
United States, in Jamaica it must be equally so; yet it is not used as
an argument to buy Jamaica from Great Britain. Mr. Benjamin had
reasoned that compulsory labor was necessary to develop tropical
production; but Mr. Dixon thought that the sugar for the world could
be grown by free labor; and if it could not, sugar was not a
sufficient equivalent for the perpetuation of slavery. In the course
of his remarks, Mr. Dixon had occasion to say that slavery degrades
free labor.

Mr. Reid controverted this opinion, and said the doctrine was new in
the South. He maintained that the white man was not degraded by labor,
although he worked at the bench, or in a field, side by side with his

Mr. Dixon refused to admit the correctness of this assertion as an
exposition of the general southern feeling.

Mr. Bell traced the rise and progress of the filibuster spirit, until
it culminated in the Ostend manifesto, and became reflected in this
Cuban bill. Both were in a form offensive to Spain. No nation would be
apt to receive kindly an offer made to purchase its territory when
accompanied by a studied reminder of its fallen fortunes. His (Mr.
Bell's) opinion was that the Ostend manifesto and the present proposal
were framed on the perfect knowledge that Cuba could not be acquired,
and that they were addressed to what is supposed to be the dominant
traits in our national character. The committee's report is skillfully
drawn up. It promises to extend the trade and commerce of the North,
the peculiar industry of the South, and the agriculture of the West.
It is framed to habituate the country to the cry of "war," but we are
making no preparation for war. On the contrary, we are trying to get
along without a revenue. For himself, he would favor our acquiring
control of the island, either as a protectorate or independent power;
but he likewise held that the time has not yet come when its
possession was necessary, either to our development or security. We
are not now in position to accept Cuba, if Spain should offer it as a
gift. We cannot accept it until we have built up a navy of sufficient
strength to maintain it. The first blow that would be struck in a war
with a naval power would be to wrest it from us, and hold its harbors
as a means of annoyance against us. The committee's promise that the
acquisition of the island will give us the monopoly of sugar is
equally fallacious. The increasing production of that article would
soon create its production throughout the whole temperate zone.
Neither is it true, as the committee says, that when a nation ceases
growth, its decadence commences. History does not teach this doctrine
of expansion, nor is there any parallelism between the growth of a
nation and an individual man. Are our internal affairs so perfectly
organized as to leave no range for our ambition? Has even the question
of currency been placed on a satisfactory basis? Is our great internal
domain reduced to such narrow limits as to afford no scope to our
energies? Our territory is now greater than the whole area of the
Roman Empire. All this we are bound to protect and defend; and to
defend the accessible points of our extended frontier would require
100,000 men, with at least 250 war steamers. The chairman of the Naval
Committee says our whole guns are 1,100. The French navy alone has
15,000 cannon afloat, with 500 ships, of which half are war steamers.
We are not now prepared for such a war; and yet the President
announced, on a recent occasion, that our policy henceforth is

Mr. Kennedy, of Maryland, addressed the Senate, arguing that the
acquisition of Cuba is subversive of the best interests of the South.
Referring to the aspect of our domestic affairs, he considered that
innovations had been ingrafted on the policy of this government, which
inevitably betokens its dissolution. The doctrine of State Rights did
well while we were a homogeneous people, bound together by common
troubles; but that day has passed. The unbounded prosperity of this
country, its fertile lands, and increasing wealth, have attracted to
it people from every clime. There is no common interest to bind us
together. The Constitution and the Supreme Court are derided, and the
Constitution threatens to be but a rope of sand, unable to bind, from
having no power to punish infractions of that Constitution. He had
been derided as an old Federalist, and the men who so denounced him
had now on the table two bills more dangerous, in consolidating the
power in the hands of one man, than any that ever emanated from the
old Federal party. They had also a bill to give away the public lands
to the sweepings of European lazar-houses, to squat thereon, and,
under an easy franchise, to control that government, before they know
a word of our language, or have one idea toward a comprehension of our
institutions. Yet, while offering this extraordinary bonus to the
discontented spirits of the old world, they refuse to vote for and
denounce the old soldiers' bill. How comes it, he asked, that there is
such a diversity of opinion in the democratic party, marching under
one banner, and professing common principles?

He proceeded to ask how it is possible for us to hold Cuba, with but
fifty-seven ships in our navy to protect the fifty Cuban harbors? Our
Paraguay armada consists of canal-boats, and side-wheel steamers. Have
senators reflected on the baneful effect the acquisition of Cuba would
have on slave property? He remembered the opening of Alabama. Virginia
has scarcely yet recovered from the effect of that exodus of her labor
to localities where it would be more remunerative. With the slave
trade stopped, Cuba would be a perpetual drain, and would put planters
into a more unequal contest by withdrawing the labor from their cotton
fields into sugar production. It is estimated that five hundred
thousand slaves will be abstracted from the southern States, and a
thousand millions of capital, within five years. And if we drift into
a war with England and France, we will have to maintain a contest with
fifteen hundred ships on our extended coast line. These are
considerations, for the American people, as they will change the whole
course of our policy, and inaugurate a new era of standing armies and
enormous fleets. The time is also inopportune for the acquisition of
that island. In conclusion, he did not admit the right to bring in a
foreign nation, with a foreign tongue and foreign teachings, and
incapable of understanding our institutions. In his opinion, we were
fast losing all those landmarks which characterized our early
nationality, and were fast becoming a mere confederation of
heterogeneous States. For these and other considerations, he was
opposed to the acquisition of Cuba.

Mr. Wade here moved to adjourn. Lost by 17 to 28.

At eight o'clock in the evening the Senate was crowded--the galleries
were one sea of faces. The Republicans wanted to adjourn the
discussion to the next day--the Democrats were determined to force a
vote on the bill that evening.

Mr. Doolittle, of Wisconsin, moved to postpone the Cuba and take up
the homestead bill, and proceeded to speak on the latter.

Mr. Slidell called him to order.

Mr. Doolittle insisted on his motion.

Mr. Johnson, of Tennessee, although he had for fifteen years advocated
the homestead bill, asked Mr. Doolittle to withdraw his motion.

Mr. Douglas, as a friend of the homestead bill, made the same request.

Mr. Clark, of Connecticut, as a friend of the homestead bill, moved
the Senate adjourn. Lost, by 17 to 30.

Mr. Trumbull asked Mr. Hunter to pledge himself not to bring forward
the appropriation bills, to prevent a vote on the homestead bill.

Mr. Hunter would give no such promise.

Mr. Trumbull appealed to Mr. Johnson to stand by and press the
homestead bill.

Mr. Bigler asked Mr. Trumbull, for himself and the Republicans, to
name the hour at which they would vote on both measures.

Mr. Trumbull, for himself, was ready now, but could not make any
pledge for his friends.

Mr. Seward said that after nine hours' discussion on the Cuba bill, it
was time to come back to the great question of the age. Two
propositions now stand face to face; one is the question of land for
the landless, and the other is a question of land for slaves.

Mr. Slidell here rose.

The Vice-President. Will the Senator from New York yield the floor to
the Senator from Louisiana?

Mr. Seward. No, sir, I do not.

Mr. Slidell called Mr. Seward to order. He was discussing the
comparative merits of the two bills.

The Vice-President decided that Mr. Seward was in order.

Mr. Seward went on with a few words, when Mr. Fitch appealed to the
Chair to put the question of order to the Senate, with a view of
stopping what threatened to be an interminable discussion.

The Vice-President refused to do so.

Mr. Seward went on, saying: "It is in the Thirty-fifth Congress that
the homestead bill has been put aside." He then contrasted the merits
of the two bills.

Mr. Toombs said, as to "land for the landless," it carried with it
some demagogical power. He despised a demagogue, but despised still
more those who are driven by demagogues. What are the other side
afraid of? If they do not want to give $30,000,000 to carry out a
great national policy, let them say so and not attempt to get rid of
the issue by saying, "We want to give land to the landless."

Mr. Wade said the question was land to the landless, or niggers to the
niggerless. He would antagonize these issues, and carry the appeal to
the country. The whole object of the Democratic party was to go round
the world hunting for niggers. They could no more sustain their party
without niggers, than they could a steam engine without fuel.

Mr. Fessenden took Mr. Toombs to task, and asked if the language he
had used was not in imitation of the great man at the other end of the
Avenue (the President), who recently addressed an out-of-door crowd,
saying none but cowards shirk this Cuban bill. He told the senator the
Republicans did not tremble nor shrink. He referred to the trial of
physical endurance at the last session, and hinted that they could
endure as much again. He denied that the Republicans were obstructing
legitimate business, but said they were opposed to this Cuban measure,
by which nothing was intended but a party result.

Mr. Seward was not in the habit of impugning the courage of any man.
He believed every senator had sufficient. He himself had enough for
his own purposes. But other qualities are also necessary. There is
moral courage. There is truthfulness to pledges. The President had
power to carry out his pledges, and has he done so? Where is the
Pacific Railroad bill? where his protection? where relief to the
bankrupt? Lost, sunk, sacrificed, in his attempt to fasten slavery on
the Spanish American States. No part of the President's policy has
been carried out, but it is all sacrificed to a false and pretended
issue. Out of nothing, nothing is expected to come. He (Mr. Seward)
had never mistaken the President's policy. He never mistook it for a
giant in arms, but for a windmill with sails. Mr. Seward concluded by
an energetic declaration that he is to be found on the side of
liberty, everywhere and always.

Mr. Toombs replied at some length, till Mr. Johnson, of Arkansas,
again raised a question of order, to cut off debate.

At eleven o'clock there was a crowded audience; half the senators were
in their seats, while the rest were reading and smoking in the

Mr. Doolittle finally declined to withdraw his motion.

At midnight, Mr. Chandler attempted to reply to the remarks of Mr.
Toombs respecting demagogues.

The Vice-President ruled that he was not in order.

Mr. Fessenden appealed from the ruling of the Chair.

Mr. Mason again moved to adjourn. Lost by 20 to 30.

The appeal of Mr. Fessenden was then laid on the table.

Mr. Clark then spoke; after which Mr. Doolittle's motion to take up
the homestead bill was voted on, and lost, by yeas 17, nays 28.

At last, wearied out, and convinced that the Republicans were not to
be intimidated or driven into a vote upon the bill without more
discussion, Mr. Slidell, himself, moved an adjournment, at one o'clock
at night, which was of course carried.


Stephen Arnold Douglas was born in the town of Brandon, Vermont, on
the 23d of April, 1813. His father, S. A. Douglas, was a doctor and
native of Rensselaer County, New York. The father removed to Vermont
in early life, and was educated at Middlebury College. He was a
physician of some eminence. He died suddenly in 1813, leaving two
children--a daughter, twenty months old, and a son (the subject of
this sketch) only two months of age. The mother of Mr. Douglas, was
the daughter of a large farmer in Brandon, Vermont. Upon the death of
her husband, she went back to the old homestead which she inherited
with a bachelor brother. The brother and sister lived for many years
on this retired farm in one of the valleys of the Green Mountains,
caring for the two children with economy, prudence and the most ardent
affection. The farm-property increased in value, and the sister and
mother had no doubt that she could leave her children a comfortable
competence, enough to educate them and help them to an independence in
after life. After fourteen years had elapsed, the uncle visited the
State of New York, and very singularly took the idea into his head of
marriage, and returned with a young and handsome wife, who, at the end
of a year, presented him with a son. Stephen was at this time fifteen
years old, and had received a good common-school education, and he
began at once to prepare for college. His uncle was applied to, who by
this time began to grow selfish, and desired to keep his property for
_his own son_, and he very frankly informed the young man, that he did
not possess property sufficient to warrant him in getting a collegiate
education, and he advised him to stay at work upon the farm. The farm
and all the property attached to it was held in his uncle's name, was
legally his, and his mother only possessed a few worn-out acres,
barely sufficient to support her and her daughter. Until the marriage
of her brother, she had not dreamed of such a contingency and had
relied upon their joint property for her children, who had been great
favorites with the bachelor, who had frequently promised them all he
had. In this change of circumstances, young Stephen did not long
hesitate what to do, but apprenticed himself to a cabinet-maker in
Middlebury. He remained here for some eight months, working hard, but,
at the expiration of that time, he came to some misunderstanding with
his employer, and left him. He came back to his native town and
entered the cabinet-shop of one Deacon Knowlton, where he remained a
year, making French bedsteads of hard, curled maple, which was so
severe labor as to injure his health. He was now obliged to leave his
employer, and, while waiting to regain his health, he became a student
in the Brandon Academy. At the end of another year, he gave up all
hopes of being able to prosecute the cabinet business, and determined
on trying to get an education. His sister had married Julius N.
Granger, and moved to Ontario County, New York. His mother, a little
later, married her daughter's husband's father, Gehazi Granger, and
Stephen accompanied her, joining the Canandaigua Academy, where he
pursued the classical course till the spring of 1833. At the same
time, he was also studying law in the village with the Messrs.
Hubbell. He was at this time, though young, an ardent politician, and
gave abundant evidence that politics would, in after-life, be his
chosen field for action. In the spring of 1833, he turned his face
westward, and entered the law-office of S. T. Andrews, then a member
of Congress. He was here attacked with a bilious fever, and was ill an
entire summer, which threw him out of his place and used up his small
stock of funds. When he finally recovered, he was without place and
money, and in a situation which would completely dishearten most young
men. He started on westward, and seeing no good opening, and being
reduced to great straits, engaged to teach a school in the village of
Winchester, Illinois. When he came there, he had _but thirty-seven and
a half cents in his pocket_, but by a fortunate occurrence he was
enabled to earn a few dollars as clerk before his school opened. The
first Monday in December, 1833, he opened his school of forty
scholars, at a tuition of three dollars each. He studied law evenings,
and, in the course of the following spring, opened a law-office in the
place, having obtained a license upon examination from the Supreme
Court judges. He sprang at once into the full tide of success, for in
less than a year he was elected State's Attorney by the joint vote of
the Legislature? He was but twenty-two years of age, yet, by the very
nature of his office, he was pitted against the ablest and most acute
lawyers in the State. Nothing but the most untiring industry held him
up in this position. He endeavored to make up for his lack of
experience by the closest study and application, and he very naturally
exerted himself to the extent of all his abilities. The result was
that he attained distinguished success. In December, 1836, he was
elected to the Legislature of his State, and resigned the office of
State's Attorney to sit in the Legislature. He was the youngest member
of the House, yet he soon created for himself an excellent reputation
as a legislator. The State was then going mad with speculation and
wild-cat banking. Mr. Douglas opposed the banking institutions--their
increase in any shape or manner--but was overborne by numbers. The
majority were in favor of extending the then vicious system of
banking, and so voted. The very same year, all the banks suspended
specie payments, their paper depreciated to a frightful extent, and
after a few years they were wound up. Mr. Douglas participated in the
great struggle over internal improvements, giving his voice and vote
in favor of any plan of public works which would stand the test of an
examination. No public man could go through this ordeal without making
enemies, for there were rival routes for canals, rival interests, and
Mr. Douglas was too outspoken and independent not to take sides upon
these local questions. Of course, he made temporary enemies. The
railroad mania now began, and Mr. Douglas favored a plan which put the
public works _completely_ in the power of the State. The other plan
was to join the State with individual stockholders, but really give
the control of the works to the private stockholders. In all these
local quarrels Mr. Douglas participated with the enthusiasm and energy
which have always been characteristic of the man.

Soon after the adjournment of the Legislature, Mr. Douglas was
appointed by the President of the United States, Register of the Land
Office at Springfield, Illinois. He desired to return to the law, but
the acceptance of the office would be to his pecuniary advantage, and
he felt it to be his duty to accept.

In November 1837, he was nominated to Congress by a Convention of the
Democratic party in his district. The time was peculiarly unfavorable
to him, for the country was in a whirlpool of agitation and the
Democratic party of Illinois on many questions of the day, sided with
the Whigs, and were against Mr. Van Buren.

The election took place in August, 1838--thirty-six-thousand votes
were cast--and his Whig opponent was elected by a majority of _five
votes_! At the ensuing Presidential election, the same district gave
Harrison a majority of three thousand votes over Van Buren. Mr.
Douglas devoted himself to the law till the Presidential campaign
opened, when he gave himself zealously up to that. He stumped the
State for seven months from one part to the other, making the
acquaintance of almost the entire people. The State went democratic.
In December, 1840, Mr. Douglas was elected Secretary of State, and in
February, 1841, was elected by joint vote of the State Legislature a
judge of the Supreme Court. He was now but twenty-eight years of age,
and at first resolved to decline this fresh honor; but, upon a
reconsideration, he accepted the appointment, though it was to his
pecuniary hurt.

In 1843, Mr. Douglas's health became so impaired that he made a trip
into the Indian country. During his absence he was nominated for
Congress by his friends, and when he returned he resigned his judgship
and went into the canvass with great spirit. Himself and competitor
were soon prostrated with bilious fever, and they were unable to rise
from their beds on election day. The result of the election was the
triumph of Mr. Douglas by four hundred votes. At the next election he
was reëlected by nineteen hundred majority, and on the third election
by twenty-nine hundred majority. He did not take his seat in the House
under the last election, for, before the time came for the Congress to
meet, he had been chosen to the U.S. Senate for six years. [Note:
election took place in 1847.]

In April, 1847, M. Douglas was married to a Miss Martin, only daughter
of Col. Robert Martin, of Rockingham County North Carolina. A few
years since, Mr. Douglas lost his wife, and in the winter of 1856-7
married Miss Cutts of Washington, his present accomplished wife. By
his first wife he had several children, and they inherited from their
mother a large property in the South, consisting of land and slaves.

In 1838, Mr. Douglas took strong ground in Illinois against
naturalization as a necessary pre-requisite to voting. He contended in
the State courts--for the question was raised there--that though
Congress has the exclusive right to prescribe uniform naturalization
laws, yet that naturalization has necessarily no connection with the
elective franchise, that being a privilege granted by the States. Mr.
Douglas triumphed through a decision of the Supreme Court of Illinois.

In 1841, Mr. Douglas opposed the Bankrupt law of the time, which
became so memorable. In the famous Oregon controversy and excitement
he belonged to the "fifty-four forty or fight" party, and in his
public speeches, as well as in private, took a very determined stand
against the pretensions of Great Britain. Here is a paragraph from a
speech of his in the House at this time:

"It therefore becomes us to put this nation in a state of defence; and
when we are told that this will lead to war, all I have to say is
this: preserve the honor and integrity of this country, but at the
same time assert our right to the last inch, and then if war comes,
let it come. We may regret the necessity which produced it, but when
it does come, I would administer to our citizens Hannibal's oath of
eternal enmity, and not terminate it until the question was all
settled forever. I would blot out the lines on the map which now mark
our national boundaries on this continent and make the area of liberty
as broad as the continent itself."

To show the position of Mr. Douglas on the Oregon question, we will
quote two paragraphs from one of his speeches:

"I choose to be frank and candid in this declaration of my sentiments
on this question. For one, I never will be satisfied with the valley
of the Columbia nor with 49°, nor with 54° 40', nor will I be while
Great Britain shall hold possession of one acre on the northwest coast
of America. And I will never agree to any arrangement that shall
recognize her right to one inch of soil upon the northwest coast; and
for this simple reason. Great Britain never did own, she never had a
valid title to one inch of that country. The question was only one of
dispute between Russia, Spain and the United States. England never had
a title to any part of the country. Our Government has always held
that England had no title to it. In 1826, Mr. Clay, in his dispatches
to Mr. Gallatin, said, 'it is not conceived that the British
Government can make out even a colorable title to any part of the
northwest coast!'...

"The value of the Oregon Territory is not to be measured by the number
of miles upon the coast, whether it shall terminate at 49°, or at 54°
40', or reach to 61° and the Arctic Ocean. It does not depend on the
character of the country, nor the quality of the soil. It is true that
consideration is not virtually of attention; but the great point at
issue--the great struggle between us and Great Britain--is for the
freedom of the Pacific Ocean; for the trade of China and of Japan, of
the East Indies, and for the maritime ascendency on all these waters.
That is the great point at issue between the two countries, and the
settlement of this Oregon question involves all these interests. And
in order to maintain these interests, and secure all the benefits
resulting from them, we must not only go to 54° 40', but we have got
to exclude Great Britain from the coast _in toto_."

In the course of the debate in committee of the House upon resolutions
giving notice to Great Britain of the abrogation of the treaty between
this country and Great Britain, Mr. Ramsey moved to strike out all
after the word resolved (in one of the resolutions) and insert, "That
the Oregon question is no longer a subject of negotiation or
compromise." We quote from the record:

"Tellers were ordered and _ten_ members passed between them, amid
shouts of laughter, cries of 54° 40' forever, clapping of hands and
stamping of feet, which the chairman was some time in suppressing; and
the negative vote was then taken and stood 146. So the amendment was

The names of the ten "fifty-four forties," were as follows:

    ARCHIBALD BELL, of Arkansas.
    ALEXANDER RAMSEY, of Pennsylvania.
    WILLIAM SAWYER, of Ohio.
    T. B. HOGE, of Illinois.
    ROBERT SMITH, of Illinois.
    STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS, of Illinois.
    JOHN A. MCCLEELAND,       "
    JOHN WENTWORTH,           "
    CORNELIUS DARRAH, of Pennsylvania.
    FELIX S. MCCONNEL, of Alabama.

It will be noticed, that then, as now, Mr. Douglas had the faculty of
carrying his State delegation with him.

Mr. Douglas has, while in Congress, favored the appropriation by the
general government of money for internal improvements upon the Jackson
plan of strictly confining such appropriations to objects of national
and general, not of State or local importance.

He has frequently voted for river and harbor bills--voted for the
Independent Treasury bill, and has, in and out of Congress, utterly
denied the power of Congress over the franchise in the States. Mr.
Douglas was an early supporter of the Mexican war. "He opposed the
incorporation of the Wilmot proviso into the two or three million
bills. He believed the people's time had not come for any action on
that subject. Slavery was now prohibited in Mexico. If any portion of
that country should be annexed to the United States without any
stipulation being made on that point, the existing laws would remain
in force. ....If the question was pressed for immediate decision, he
could perceive no other mode of harmonizing conflicting sentiments,
but by the adoption of the Missouri Compromise Line."

Mr. Douglas voted to bring up the Homestead bill which was before the
last Congress and which passed the House, showing that he is in favor
of that important measure.

We now come to the history of Mr. Douglas in connection with the
Kansas-Nebraska bill.

The battle which he waged with his political opponents and won upon
that bill is so fresh in the memory of all our readers that it will
not be safe, or necessary, to go into a minute history of the
struggle. In the winter of 1852-3, Mr. Douglas reported a Nebraska
bill from the Territorial Committee of which he was chairman, which
contained no repeal of the Missouri Compromise or enumeration of his
peculiar Popular Sovereignty doctrines. In the great debate over the
compromise measures in 1850, no one ever called in question the
Missouri Compromise. In the winter of 1852-3, Senator Atchison, of
Missouri, declared in his seat in the Senate that the Missouri
prohibition could never be repealed.

The Kansas-Nebraska bill as reported from the Committee appeared first
without any repeal of the Missouri restriction--on the 7th day of
January it was first presented. On the 16th, Mr. Dixon, a Whig senator
from Kentucky, proposed an amendment to the bill reported from the
committee which repealed the aforesaid compromise. This movement was
at first opposed by leading Democrats and their organ the _Union_, but
in a very few days Mr. Douglas, either because he saw the justice of
the repeal of the restriction or thought it would advance his
political interests, acquiesced in the amendment and made it a part of
his bill. We make a few brief extracts from Mr. Douglas's argument in
the Senate, Jan. 30, 1854, in support of his bill:

    "Sir, I wish you to bear in mind, too, that this geographical
    line, established by the founders of the Republic between free
    territories and slave territories, extended as far westward as our
    territory then reached; the object being to avoid all agitation
    upon the slavery question by settling that question forever, as
    far as our territory extended, which was then to the Mississippi

    "When, in 1803, we acquired from France the territory known as
    Louisiana, it became necessary to legislate for the protection of
    the inhabitants residing therein. It will be seen by looking into
    the bill establishing the territorial government in 1805 for the
    territory of New Orleans, embracing the same country now known as
    the State of Louisiana, that the ordinance of 1787 was expressly
    extended to that territory, excepting the sixth section, which
    prohibited slavery. Then that act implied that the Territory of
    New Orleans was to be a slaveholding territory, by making that
    exception in the law. But, sir, when they came to form what was
    then called the Territory of Louisiana, subsequently known as the
    Territory of Missouri, north of the thirty-third parallel, they
    used different language. They did not extend the ordinance of 1787
    to it at all. They first provided that it should be governed by
    laws made by the governor and the judges, and when, in 1812,
    Congress gave to that territory, under the name of the Territory
    of Missouri, a territorial government, the people were allowed to
    do as they pleased upon the subject of slavery, subject only to
    the limitations of the Constitution of the United States. Now,
    what is the inference from that legislation? That slavery was, by
    implication, recognized south of the thirty-third parallel; and
    north of that, the people were left to exercise their own judgment
    and do as they pleased upon the subject, without any implication
    for or against the existence of the institution.

    "This continued to be the condition of the country in the Missouri
    territory up to 1820, when the celebrated act which is now called
    the Missouri Compromise act was passed. Slavery did not exist in,
    nor was it excluded from the country now known as Nebraska. There
    was no code of laws upon the subject of slavery either way: First,
    for the reason that slavery had never been introduced into
    Louisiana and established by positive enactment. It had grown up
    there by a sort of common law, and been supported and protected.
    When a common law grows up, when an institution becomes
    established under a usage, it carries it so far as that usage
    actually goes, and no further. If it had been established by
    direct enactment, it might have carried it so far as the political
    jurisdiction extended; but, be that as it may, by the act of 1812,
    creating the territory of Missouri, that territory was allowed to
    legislate upon the subject of slavery as it saw proper, subject
    only to the limitations which I have stated; and the country not
    inhabited or thrown open to settlement was set apart as Indian
    country and rendered subject to Indian laws. Hence, the local
    legislation of the State of Missouri did not reach into that
    Indian country, but was excluded from it by the Indian code and
    Indian laws. The municipal regulations of Missouri could not go
    there until the Indian title had been extinguished and the country
    thrown open to settlement. Such being the case, the only
    legislation in existence in Nebraska territory at the time that
    the Missouri act passed, namely, the 6th of March, 1820, was a
    provision, in effect, that the people should be allowed to do as
    they pleased upon the subject of slavery.

    "The territory of Missouri having been left in that legal
    condition, positive opposition was made to the bill to organize a
    state government, with a view to its admission into the Union; and
    a senator from my State, Mr. Jesse B. Thomas, introduced an
    amendment, known as the eighth section of the bill, in which it
    was provided that slavery should be prohibited north of 36° 30'
    north latitude, in all that country which we had acquired from
    France. What was the object of the enactment of that eighth
    section? Was it not to go back to the original policy of
    prescribing boundaries to the limitation of free institutions, and
    of slave institutions, by a geographical line, in order to avoid
    all controversy in Congress upon the subject? Hence, they extended
    that geographical line through all the territory purchased from
    France, which was as far as our possessions then reached. It was
    not simply to settle the question on that piece of country, but it
    was to carry out a great principle, by extending that dividing
    line as far west as our territory went, and running it onward on
    each new acquisition of territory. True, the express enactment of
    the eighth section of the Missouri act, now called the Missouri
    Compromise act, only covered the territory acquired from France;
    but the principles of the act, the objects of its adoption, the
    reasons in its support, required that it should be extended
    indefinitely westward, so far as our territory might go, whenever
    new purchases should be made.

    "Thus stood the question up to 1845, when the joint resolution for
    the annexation of Texas passed. There was inserted in that a
    provision, suggested in the first instance and brought before the
    House of Representatives by myself, extending the Missouri
    Compromise line indefinitely westward through the territory of
    Texas. Why did I bring forward that proposition? Why did the
    Congress of the United States adopt it? Not because it was of the
    least practical importance, so far as the question of slavery
    within the limits of Texas was concerned; for no man ever dreamed
    that it had any practical effect there. Then, why was it brought
    forward? It was for the purpose of preserving the principle, in
    order that it might be extended still further westward, even to
    the Pacific Ocean, whenever we should then acquire country that
    far. I will here read that clause in the joint resolution for the
    annexation of Texas. It is the third article, second section, and
    is in these words:

        "'New States, of convenient size, not exceeding four in
        number, in addition to said State of Texas, having sufficient
        population, may hereafter, by the consent of said State, be
        formed out of the territory thereof which shall be entitled to
        admission under the provisions of the Federal Constitution.
        And such States as may be formed out of that portion of said
        territory, lying south of 36° 30' north latitude, commonly
        known as the Missouri Compromise line, shall be admitted into
        the Union with or without slavery, as the people of each State
        asking admission may desire. And in such State or States as
        shall be formed out of said territory north of said Missouri
        Compromise line, slavery or involuntary servitude (except for
        crime) shall be prohibited.'

    "It will be seen that that contains a very remarkable provision,
    which is, that when States lying north of 36° 30' apply for
    admission, slavery shall be prohibited in their constitutions. I
    presume no one pretends that Congress could have power thus to
    fetter a State applying for admission into this Union; but it was
    necessary to preserve the principle of the Missouri Compromise
    line, in order that it might afterward be extended, and it was
    supposed that while Congress had no power to impose any such
    limitation, yet, as that was a compact with the State of Texas,
    that State could consent for herself, that, when any portion of
    her own territory, subject to her own jurisdiction and control,
    applied for a constitution, it should be in a particular form; but
    that provision would not be binding on the new State one day after
    it was admitted into the Union. The other provision was, that such
    States as should lie south of 36° 30' min. should come into the
    Union with or without slavery, as each should decide, in its
    constitution. Then, by that act, the Missouri Compromise was
    extended indefinitely westward, so far as the State of Texas went,
    that is, to the Rio del Norte; for our Government at the time
    recognized the Rio del Norte as its boundary. We recognized it, in
    many ways, and among them by even paying Texas for it, in order
    that it might be included in and form a portion of the territory
    of New Mexico.

    "Then, sir, in 1848, we acquired from Mexico the country between
    the Rio del Norte and the Pacific Ocean. Immediately after that
    acquisition, the Senate, on my own motion, voted into a bill a
    provision to extend the Missouri Compromise indefinitely westward
    to the Pacific Ocean, in the same sense and with the same
    understanding with which it was originally adopted. That provision
    passed this body by a decided majority, I think by ten at least,
    and went to the House of Representatives, and was defeated there
    by northern votes.

    "Now, sir, let us pause and consider for a moment. The first time
    that the principles of the Missouri Compromise were ever
    abandoned, the first time they were ever rejected by Congress, was
    by the defeat of that provision in the House of Representatives in
    1848. By whom was that defeat effected? By northern votes with
    free soil proclivities. It was the defeat of that Missouri
    Compromise that reopened the slavery agitation with all its fury.
    It was the defeat of that Missouri Compromise that created the
    tremendous struggle of 1850. It was the defeat of that Missouri
    Compromise that created the necessity for making a new compromise
    in 1850. Had we been faithful to the principles of the Missouri
    Compromise in 1848, this question would not have arisen. Who was
    it that was faithless? I undertake to say it was the very men who
    now insist that the Missouri Compromise was a solemn compact, and
    should never be violated or departed from. Every man who is now
    assailing the principle of the bill under consideration, so far as
    I am advised, was opposed to the Missouri Compromise in 1848. The
    very men who now arraign me for a departure from the Missouri
    Compromise are the men who successfully violated it, repudiated
    it, and caused it to be superseded by the compromise measures of
    1850. Sir, it is with rather bad grace that the men who proved
    false themselves should charge upon me and others, who were over
    faithful, the responsibilities and consequences of their own

    "Then, sir, as I before remarked, the defeat of the Missouri
    Compromise in 1848 having created the necessity for the
    establishment of a new one in 1850, let us see what that
    Compromise was.

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. President, I repeat that so far as the question of slavery is
    concerned, there is nothing in the bill under consideration which
    does not carry out the principle of the compromise measures of
    1850, by leaving the people to do as they please, subject only to
    the provisions of the Constitution of the United States. If that
    principle is wrong, the bill is wrong. If that principle is right,
    the bill is right. It is unnecessary to quibble about phraseology
    or words; it is not the mere words, the mere phraseology, that our
    constituents wish to judge by. They wish to know the legal effect
    of our legislation.

    "The legal effect of this bill, if it be passed as reported by the
    Committee on Territories, is neither to legislate slavery into
    these territories, nor out of them; but to leave the people to do
    as they please, under the provisions and subject to the
    limitations of the Constitution of the United States. Why should
    not this principle prevail? Why should any man, North or South,
    object to it? I will especially address the argument to my own
    section of country, and ask why should any northern man object to
    this principle? If you will review the history of the slavery
    question in the United States, you will see that all the great
    results in behalf of free institutions which have been worked out,
    have been accomplished by the operation of this principle and by
    it alone.

    "When these States were colonies of Great Britain, every one of
    them was a slaveholding province. When the Constitution of the
    United States was formed, twelve out of the thirteen were
    slaveholding States. Since that time six of those States have
    become free. How has this been effected? Was it by virtue of
    abolition agitation in Congress? Was it in obedience to the
    dictates of the Federal Government? Not at all; but they have
    become free States under the silent but sure and irresistible
    working of that great principle of self-government, which teaches
    every people to do that which the interests of themselves and
    their posterity, morally and pecuniarily, may require.

    "Under the operation of this principle, New Hampshire became free,
    while South Carolina continued to hold slaves; Connecticut
    abolished slavery, while Georgia held on to it; Rhode Island
    abandoned the institution, while Maryland preserved it; New York,
    New Jersey, and Pennsylvania abolished slavery, while Virginia,
    North Carolina, and Kentucky, retained it. Did they do it at your
    bidding! Did they do it at the dictation of the Federal
    Government? Did they do it in obedience to any of your Wilmot
    Provisoes or Ordinances of '87? Not at all; they did it by virtue
    of their rights as freemen under the Constitution of the United
    States, to establish and abolish such institutions as they thought
    their own good required.

    "The leading feature of the Compromise of 1850 was Congressional
    non-intervention as to slavery in the territories; that the people
    of the territories and of all the States, were to be allowed to do
    as they pleased upon the subject of slavery, subject only to the
    provisions of the Constitution of the United States.

    "That, sir, was the leading feature of the compromise measures of
    1850. Those measures, therefore, abandoned the idea of a
    geographical line as a boundary between free States and slave
    States--abandoned it because compelled to do it from an inability
    to maintain it--and in lieu of that substituted a great principle
    of self-government, which would allow the people to do as they
    thought proper. Now the question is, when that new compromise,
    resting upon that great fundamental principle of freedom, was
    established, was it not an abandonment of the old one--the
    geographical line? Was it not a supersedure of the old one, within
    the very language of the substitute for the bill which is now
    under consideration? I say it did supersede it, because it applied
    its provisions as well to the north as to the south of 36° 30'. It
    established a principle which was equally applicable to the
    country north as well as south of the parallel of 36° 30'--a
    principle of universal application."

Mr. Douglas's bill passed both branches of Congress and became a law,
after passing through a severe ordeal both in Congress and before the
people. Its passage gave the popular branch of the next Congress into
the control of Mr. Douglas's political enemies, for the bill in a
majority of the free States was very unpopular.

On the first Monday in December, 1857, Mr. Douglas took his seat in
the Senate with many anxious eyes upon him, for it had already been
rumored that he would differ with the administration upon its conduct
of Kansas affairs, and would take issue with the President in his
forthcoming message. Rumor was right--the message was read--it did in
effect recommend the indorsement of the Lecompton Constitution--and
Mr. Douglas had the courage and boldness to stand up in defence of his
peculiar doctrines of popular sovereignty, which he thought had been
violated by the Lecompton Constitution. His great opening speech was
delivered on the ninth of December, 1857. The President's message had
been read the day previous and Mr. Douglas had indicated his purpose
on the next day to speak upon it. Accordingly when the Senate
assembled on Tuesday, the old Senate-hall was crowded to its utmost
capacity and hundreds were unable to effect an entrance. The curiosity
of the public to learn the position which the Illinois senator would
take upon this important question was intense, and many of the members
of the house were present. Mr. D. rose, apparently as cool as he ever
was in his life, although, in the opinion of some of his Democratic
friends, his decision, which after careful thought he had reached, to
oppose the Lecompton Constitution, would ruin all his political
prospects. He began by quoting the peculiar language of the
President's message, and, perhaps in a vein of irony, contended that
the President was opposed to this Lecompton Constitution, which,
though under the circumstances he was for accepting, he did not like.
It was evident that the President, in his absence at a foreign court,
had fallen into an error in reference to the principle of the Nebraska
bill. We now quote Mr. Douglas:

    "Now, sir, what was the principle enunciated by the authors and
    supporters of that bill, when it was brought forward? Did we not
    come before the country and say that we repealed the Missouri
    restriction for the purpose of substituting and carrying out as a
    general rule the great principle of self-government, which left
    the people of each State and each Territory free to form and
    regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject
    only to the Constitution of the United States? In support of that
    proposition, it was argued here, and I have argued it wherever I
    have spoken in various States of the Union, at home and abroad,
    everywhere I have endeavored to prove that there was no reason why
    an exception should be made in regard to the slavery question. I
    have appealed to the people, if we did not all agree, men of all
    parties, that all other local and domestic questions should be
    submitted to the people. I said to them, 'We agree that the people
    shall decide for themselves what kind of a judiciary system they
    will have; we agree that the people shall decide what kind of a
    school system they will establish; we agree that the people shall
    determine for themselves what kind of a banking system they will
    have, or whether they will have any banks at all; we agree that
    the people may decide for themselves what shall be the elective
    franchise in their respective States; they shall decide for
    themselves what shall be the rule of taxation and the principles
    upon which their finance shall be regulated; we agree that they
    may decide for themselves the relations between husband and wife,
    parent and child, guardian and ward; and why should we not then
    allow them to decide for themselves the relations between master
    and servant? Why make an exception of the slavery question, by
    taking it out of that great rule of self-government which applies
    to all the other relations of life? The very first proposition in
    the Nebraska bill was to show that the Missouri restriction,
    prohibiting the people from deciding the slavery question for
    themselves, constituted an exception to a general rule, in
    violation of the principle of self-government; and hence that that
    exception should be repealed, and the slavery question, like all
    other questions, submitted to the people, to be decided for

    "Sir, that was the principle on which the Nebraska bill was
    defended by its friends. Instead of making the slavery question an
    exception, it removed an odious exception which before existed.
    Its whole object was to abolish that odious exception, and make
    the rule general, universal in its application to all matters
    which were local and domestic, and not national or federal. For
    this reason was the language employed which the President has
    quoted; that the eighth section of the Missouri act, commonly
    called the Missouri Compromise, was repealed, because it was
    repugnant to the principle of non-intervention, established by the
    compromise measures of 1850, 'it being the true intent and meaning
    of this act, not to legislate slavery into any territory or State,
    nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof
    perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in
    their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United
    States.' We repealed the Missouri restriction because that was
    confined to slavery. That was the only exception there was to the
    general principle of self-government. That exception was taken
    away for the avowed and express purpose of making the rule of
    self-government general and universal, so that the people should
    form and regulate all their domestic institutions in their own

    "Sir, what would this boasted principle of popular sovereignty
    have been worth, if it applied only to the negro, and did not
    extend to the white man? Do you think we could have aroused the
    sympathies and the patriotism of this broad Republic, and have
    carried the Presidential election last year, in the face of a
    tremendous opposition, on the principle of extending the right of
    self-government to the negro question, but denying it as to all
    the relations affecting white men? No, sir. We aroused the
    patriotism of the country and carried the election in defence of
    that great principle, which allowed all white men to form and
    regulate their domestic institutions to suit
    themselves--institutions applicable to white men as well as to
    black men--institutions applicable to freemen as well as to
    slaves--institutions concerning all the relations of life, and not
    the mere paltry exception of the slavery question.

    "Sir, I have spent too much strength and breath, and health, too,
    to establish this great principle in the popular heart, now to see
    it frittered away by bringing it down to an exception that applies
    to the negro, and does not extend to the benefit of the white man.

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "So far as the act of the territorial Legislature of Kansas,
    calling this convention, was concerned, I have always been under
    the impression that it was fair and just in its provisions. I have
    always thought the people should have gone together, _en masse_,
    and voted for delegates, so that the voice expressed by the
    convention should have been the unquestioned and united voice of
    the people of Kansas. I have always thought that those who stayed
    away from that election stood in their own light, and should have
    gone and voted, and should have furnished their names to be put on
    the registered list, so as to be voters. I have always held that
    it was their own fault that they did not thus go and vote; but
    yet, if they chose, they had a right to stay away. They had a
    right to say that that convention, although not an unlawful
    assemblage, is not a legal convention to make a government, and
    hence we are under no obligation to go and express any opinion
    about it. They had a right to say, if they chose, 'We will stay
    away until we see the Constitution they shall frame, the petition
    they shall send to Congress; and when they submit it to us for
    ratification, we will vote for it if we like it, or vote it down
    if we do not like it.' I say they had a right to do either, though
    I thought, and think yet, as good citizens, they ought to have
    gone and voted; but that was their business, and not mine.

    "Having thus shown that the convention at Lecompton had no power,
    no authority, to form and establish a government, but had power to
    draft a petition, and that petition, if it embodied the will of
    the people of Kansas, ought to be taken as such an exposition of
    their will, yet, if it did not embody their will, ought to be
    rejected. Having shown these facts, let me proceed and inquire
    what was the understanding of the people of Kansas when the
    delegates were elected? I understand, from the history of the
    transaction, that the people who voted for delegates to the
    Lecompton Convention, and those who refused to vote, both parties,
    understood the Territorial act to mean that they were to be
    elected only to frame a constitution, and submit it to the people
    for their ratification or rejection. I say that both parties in
    that territory, at the time of the election of delegates, so
    understood the object of the convention. Those who voted for
    delegates did so with the understanding that they had no power to
    make a government, but only to frame one for submission; and those
    who stayed away did so with the same understanding.

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "Now, let us stop to inquire how they redeemed the pledge to
    submit the constitution to the people. They first go on and make a
    constitution; then they make a schedule, in which they provide
    that the constitution, on the 21st of December, the present month,
    shall be submitted to all the _bonâ fide_ inhabitants of the
    territory, on that day, for their free acceptance or rejection, in
    the following manner, to wit: Thus acknowledging that they were
    bound to submit it to the will of the people, conceding that they
    had no right to put it into operation without submitting it to the
    people, providing in the instrument that they should take effect
    from and after the date of its ratification, and not before;
    showing that the constitution derives its vitality, in their
    estimation, not from the authority of the convention, but from
    that vote of the people to which it was to be submitted for their
    acceptance or rejection. How is it to be submitted? It shall be
    submitted in this form: 'Constitution with Slavery, or
    Constitution with no Slavery.' All men must vote for the
    constitution, whether they like it or not, in order to be
    permitted to vote for or against slavery. Thus a constitution made
    by a convention that had authority to assemble and petition for a
    redress of grievances, but not to establish a government. A
    constitution made under a pledge of honor that it should be
    submitted to the people before it took effect; a constitution
    which provides on its face, that it shall have no validity, except
    what it derives from such submission, is submitted to the people
    at an election where all men are at liberty to come forward
    freely, without hindrance, and vote for it, but no man is
    permitted to record a vote against it.

    "That would be as fair an election as some of the enemies of
    Napoleon attributed to him when he was elected first consul. He is
    said to have called out his troops, and had them reviewed by his
    officers with a speech, patriotic and fair in its professions, in
    which he said to them: 'Now, my soldiers, you are to go to the
    election, and vote freely just as you please. If you vote for
    Napoleon, all is well; vote against him, and you are to be
    instantly shot.' That was a fair election. This election is to be
    equally fair. All men in favor of the constitution may vote for
    it--all men against it shall not vote at all. Why not let them
    vote against it? I presume you have asked many a man this
    question. I have asked a very large number of the gentlemen who
    framed the constitution, quite a number of the delegates, and a
    still larger number of persons who are their friends, and I have
    received the same answer from every one of them. I never received
    any other answer, and I presume we never shall get any other
    answer. What is that? They say, if they allowed a negative vote,
    the constitution would have been voted down by an overwhelming
    majority, and hence the fellows shall not be allowed to vote at

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "Let me ask you, why force this constitution down the throats of
    the people of Kansas, in opposition to their wishes and in
    violation of our pledges. What great object is to be attained?
    _Cui bono_? What are you to gain by it! Will you sustain the party
    by violating its principles? Do you propose to keep the party
    united by forcing a division? Stand by the doctrine that leaves
    the people perfectly free to form and regulate their institutions
    for themselves, in their own way, and your party will be united
    and irresistible in power. Abandon that great principle, and the
    party is not worth saving, and cannot be saved after it shall be
    violated. I trust we are not to be rushed upon this question. Why
    shall it be done? Who is to be benefited? Is the South to be the
    gainer? Is the North to be the gainer? Neither the North nor the
    South has the right to gain a sectional advantage by trickery or

    "But I am beseeched to wait until I hear from the election, on the
    21st of December. I am told that perhaps that will put it all
    right, and will save the whole difficulty. How can it? Perhaps
    there may be a large vote. There may be a large vote returned. But
    I deny that it is possible to have a fair vote on the slavery
    clause; and I say that it is not possible to have any vote on the
    constitution. Why wait for the mockery of an election, when it is
    provided, unalterably, that the people cannot vote when the
    majority are disfranchised?

    "But I am told on all sides, 'Oh, just wait; the pro-slavery
    clause will be voted down.' That does not obviate any of my
    objections; it does not diminish any of them. You have no more
    right to force a free-State constitution on Kansas than a
    slave-State constitution. If Kansas wants a slave-State
    constitution, she has a right to it; if she wants a free-State
    constitution she has a right to it. It is none of my business
    which way the slavery clause is decided. I care not whether it is
    voted down or voted up. Do you suppose, after the pledge of my
    honor that I would go for that principle, and leave the people to
    vote as they chose, that I would now degrade myself by voting one
    way if the slavery clause be voted down, and another way if it be
    voted up? I care not how that vote may stand. I take it for
    granted that it will be voted out. I think I have seen enough in
    the last three days to make it certain that it will be returned
    out, no matter how the vote may stand.

    "Sir, I am opposed to that concern, because it looks to me like a
    system of trickery and jugglery to defeat the fair expression of
    the will of the people. There is no necessity for crowding this
    measure, so unfair, so unjust as it is in all its aspects, upon
    us. Why can we not now do what we proposed to do in the last
    Congress? We then voted through the Senate an enabling act, called
    'the Toombs bill,' believed to be just and fair in all its
    provisions, pronounced to be almost perfect by the senator from
    New Hampshire (Mr. Hale), only he did not like the man, then
    President of the United States, who would have to make the
    appointments. Why can we not take that bill, and, out of
    compliment to the President, add to it a clause taken from the
    Minnesota act, which he thinks should be a general rule, requiring
    the constitution to be submitted to the people, and pass that?
    That unites the party. You all voted, with me, for that bill, at
    the last Congress. Why not stand by the same bill now? Ignore
    Lecompton, ignore Topeka; treat both those party movements as
    irregular and void; pass a fair bill--the one that we framed
    ourselves when we were acting as a unit; have a fair election, and
    you will have peace in the Democratic party, and peace throughout
    the country, in ninety days. The people want a fair vote. They
    never will be satisfied without it. They never should be satisfied
    without a fair vote on their constitution.

    "If the Toombs bill does not suit my friends, take the Minnesota
    bill of the last session--the one so much commended by the
    President in his message as a model. Let us pass that as an
    enabling act, and allow the people of all parties to come together
    and have a fair vote, and I will go for it. Frame any other bill
    that secures a fair, honest vote, to men of all parties, and
    carries out the pledge that the people shall be left free to
    decide on their domestic institutions, for themselves, and I will
    go with you with pleasure, and with all the energy I may possess.
    But if this constitution is to be forced down our throats in
    violation of the fundamental principle of free government, under a
    mode of submission that is a mockery and insult, I will resist it
    to the last. I have no fear of any party associations being
    severed. I should regret any social or political estrangement,
    even temporarily; but if it must be, if I cannot act with you and
    preserve my faith and my honor; I will stand on the great
    principle of popular sovereignty, which declares the right of all
    people to be left perfectly free to form and regulate their
    domestic institutions in their own way. I will follow that
    principle wherever its logical consequences may take me, and I
    will endeavor to defend it against assault from any and all
    quarters. No mortal man shall be responsible for my action but
    myself. By my action I will compromise no man."

This speech made a deep impression upon the country, but Mr. Douglas
was unable to carry any considerable portion of his party in Congress
with him. The history of the struggle is well known. The Republicans,
a few Democrats, and a like number of Americans, united, were able to
force the administration into an abandonment of the original Lecompton
bill, and the English bill was substituted therefor. This bill was
opposed by Mr. Douglas; but inasmuch as it gave the people of Kansas
the privilege to reject the Lecompton Constitution, it passed by a
small majority.

In the summer and autumn of 1858, Mr. Douglas went through a terrible
ordeal in Illinois--a campaign, the issue of which was political life
or death to him. He triumphed by a small majority--indeed the majority
was the other way before the people--which shows that Mr. D. was wise
in opposing the Lecompton measure, for if he had supported it, and
thus trampled upon his own principle of Popular Sovereignty, he would
have lost his election by thousands of votes.

We now come to still later issues--to the discussion between Mr.
Douglas and his southern enemies, in the last session of the
thirty-fifth Congress--the present year--upon Congressional
intervention in favor of slavery. This great debate took place Feb.
23, 1859, in the Senate, and looked like a preconcerted attack upon
Mr. Douglas by some of his southern opponents. We have not the space
for the official report of the debate, and will endeavor faithfully to
abridge it. The debate opened on an amendment by Senator Hale to the
Appropriation bill before the Senate to repeal the restrictive clause
of the Kansas Admission act. This amendment was offered the day
previous, and the debate took an unexpected turn upon it.

Mr. Seward, of New York, said Congress had decided that Kansas should
come in with the Lecompton Constitution, without reference to
population; but, on the other hand, should not come in outside of the
Lecompton Constitution unless she had 92,400 population. There was,
therefore, a discrimination by the Congress of the United States, as
against freedom, in favor of slavery. Oregon, because she was a
Democratic State, was admitted without reference to population, and
Kansas, because of her different politics, was excluded. He was glad
of this occasion to renew his vote. He was glad, also, to hear that so
many gentlemen on the other side will give Kansas a fair hearing. It
indicates that the time is coming when any State applying for
admission will be heard on its merits, apart from all other
considerations. He thought it goes to show that if Texas should be
divided, or free States, as he thought they would, be formed in
Mexico, they will come in as free States.

Mr. Brown, of Mississippi, made a strong southern speech.

He held to the doctrine of State rights; denied the squatter
sovereignty of territories; and threatened secession, with banners
flying, if the South was deprived of her rights. His address was
directed to northern Democrats. He placed his views frankly on record,
and desired neither to cheat nor be cheated.

Mr. Douglas felt it incumbent on him, as a northern Democrat, to make
a reply. He admired the frankness, candor, and directness with which
Mr. Brown had approached the question. He (Douglas), too, would put
his opinions on record in such a manner as will acquit him of a desire
to cheat or be cheated. He agreed at the outset with Mr. Brown, and
with the decision of the Supreme Court, that slaves are property, and
that their owners have a right to carry them into the territories as
any other property. Having the right of transit into the territory,
the question arises, how far does the power of the territorial
legislature extend to slave property? And the reply is, to the same
extent, and no further, than to any other description of property. Mr.
Brown has said that slave property needs more protection than any
other description. If so, it is the misfortune of the owners of that
kind of property. Mr. Douglas's remarks, from the frequent
interruptions, assumed so much the form of question and reply, and
running comments on the various issues started, that we can only
notice the salient points of the main discussion, which extended
throughout many hours, he sustaining the principal part. His general
scope was, that he would leave all descriptions of property, slaves
included, to the operation of the local law, and would not have
Congress interfere in any way therewith. If the people of the
territory want slavery there, they will foster and encourage it, and
if they do not find it for their advantage, they will do otherwise. So
it becomes a question of soil, climate, production, etc. He
illustrated by saying, that if any discrimination is to be made in any
description of property, the owner of stock, or liquors, or any other,
might claim it likewise.

After some other illustrations, he went into discussion of the
Kansas-Nebraska bill, which, he said, was passed by a distinct
understanding between northern and southern Democrats, however
differing on some points, to give to the territorial legislature the
full power, with appeal to the Supreme Court, to test the
constitutionality of any law, but not to Congress to repeal it. If the
court decides such law to be constitutional, it must stand; if not, it
must fall to the ground, without action of Congress. That doctrine of
non-intervention by Congress with slavery in the States and
territories, has been a fundamental principle of the Democratic
platform, and every Democrat is pledged to it by the Cincinnati
platform. Here Mr. Douglas, in reply to a question by Mr. Clay (who
also made the remark that, according to Mr. Douglas's interpretation,
squatter sovereignty is superior to the Constitution), said that the
limit of territorial legislation is the organic act and the
Constitution. In reply to Mr. Clay's question, "Can a slaveholder take
his slave property into the territory?" he would reply, Yes; and hold
it as other property. To the question, "Will Congress pass a law to
protect other kinds of property in the territories?" he would answer,
No; for the doctrine that Congress is to legislate on property and
persons without representation, is the doctrine of the parliament of
George III., that brought on the Revolutionary war. We said then it
was a violation of the rights of power to assume to legislate for
Englishmen without their consent. Now, was he (Mr. Douglas) to be
called on to force this same odious doctrine on the people of the
territories without their consent? He answered, No; let them govern
themselves. If they make good laws, let them enjoy the blessings; if
bad, let them suffer until they are repealed. Referring to the great
battles fought and gained in 1854 and 1856, he said he would like to
know how many votes Mr. Buchanan would have got in Pennsylvania or
Ohio, if he had then understood the doctrine of popular sovereignty as
he claims to do now.

Mr. Bigler asked how many votes Mr. Buchanan would have received in
1856, had the senator from Illinois and those who acted with him told
the people that the Kansas act was not intended to extend to the
territories the sacred right of self-government, but simply to give
the people the right to petition for redress of grievances--a right
not denied to any citizen, white or black?

Mr. Douglas said that there are no colored citizens, and he trusted in
God there never would be. He did not recognize the black brothers.

Mr. Bigler knew that as well as the senator, and should have said

Mr. Douglas resumed. In 1856, he took the same ground as now, and Mr.
Buchanan, when he accepted the nomination, took the same ground. His
letter of acceptance to the Cincinnati Convention shows he then
understood that the people of the territories should decide whether
slavery should or should not exist within their limits. When gentlemen
called for Congressional intervention, they step off the Democratic
platform. He (Mr. Douglas) asserted that the Democratic creed was
non-intervention by Congress, and the right of the people to govern
themselves. He would frankly tell gentlemen of the South, that no
Democratic candidate can carry one State North but on the principles
of the Cincinnati platform, as construed by Mr. Buchanan when he
accepted his nomination, and which he (Mr. Douglas) stood here to-day
to defend.

Mr. Davis replied to Mr. Douglas elaborately, denying that he
(Douglas) rightly interpreted the obligations of the Democratic party.

Mr. Pugh said, Mr. Brown had asked if northern Democrats would vote
for Congressional intervention to protect the people against local
legislation. He would answer, Never. It is monstrous. It is against
the plighted faith both of the South and North. Mr. Pugh discussed the
question at length, and said he stood on the platform of his party
with the interpretation which he explained.

Mr. Green was sorry that this subject of contention had been brought
forward. It was to try and bring discord into the Democratic party,
the only party able to override the Republican party. He hoped and
believed there was no difference between the North and the South. A
government is formed to protect persons and property; and when it
ceases to do either, it ceases to perform its one great function. Mr.
Hale's amendment had brought up the question, "What is property?" He
(Green) maintained that, under the Constitution and by the decision of
the Supreme Court, slaves are property; and he argued the subject in
many aspects, concluding by calling on the Democratic party to stand
united, and not permit a combination to make use of a mere figment to
disorganize them. In the course of his remarks, he quoted from Mr.
Douglas's Springfield speech, to show that he had therein proposed
Congressional intervention in Utah. He could not see the consistency
of the senator's course, then and now.

Mr. Douglas denied that he had proposed Congressional intervention to
regulate the internal affairs of Utah. The intervention he proposed
was alone on the ground of rebellion--not on account of their domestic
affairs, but as aliens and rebels.

Mr. Green, in speaking of how territorial legislation could destroy
the rights of slave property, said he had before him a copy of the
bill passed by the Kansas Legislature to abolish slavery.

Mr. Douglas remarked that several speeches had been made very
pointedly at him, making him out no better than an Abolitionist, for
leaving the territories to carry out their own affairs. It does well
to attack one man for his opinion; but when was the most aggravated
act ever committed, that he did not say it was committed, in
manumitting your slaves and confiscating your property? The gentleman
who spoke thus, says: "It is not yet time." There is no better time
than the present, to introduce a bill to repeal that act of the Kansas
Legislature. Senators say that he (Douglas) may go out. No; he stands
on the platform, and it is for those who jump off, to go out.

The chair called the Senate to order, threatening to clear the
galleries, unless it was maintained.

Mr. Green said he had received information of the bill by telegraph;
but could not legislate on such information.

Mr. Douglas would take it for granted that Mr. Green meant that he
received authentic information, and would introduce a bill to repeal
the act. The South, he said, had reluctantly acquiesced in the
movement with the Democrats of the North to settle the question. He
went at some length into a discussion and approval of the decision of
the Supreme Court in the case of Dred Scott. He did not agree with
Senator Douglas's views as to the power of the people of a territory,
and did not believe that the Nebraska-Kansas bill gave them
independent power. The senator from Virginia then gave his ideas as to
the people of the territories, and the people of the States. The right
of property is recognized in the former, but the inhabitants of a
territory are unknown to the Constitution. Congress cannot divest
itself of its power over the property of the territories, but it can
grant them nothing. South of the Potomac River, to the confines of
Mexico, there is not one dissentient voice. The South would be
recreant to itself; if it would give one vote for its rights to be
taken from the Constitution, and remitted to the pleasure of the
people temporarily in the territories.

Mr. Davis took an animated part in the debate against Mr. Douglas, who
in the Kansas-Nebraska act, had made a great error, and drawn the
Senate into a great error.

Mr. Douglas resumed, saying it won't do to read him out, because they
had fallen from the faith. There is no middle ground. It is either
intervention or non-intervention.

Mr. Gwin said, if the senator from Illinois had given the same
interpretation to the Kansas-Nebraska bill when it was before the
Senate, he (Gwin) would not have voted for it, and believed those
around him would not. When the senator proposed to speak for the
Democracy of the free States, he had no right to speak for California,
which thought otherwise.

Mr. Broderick contradicted Mr. Gwin's statement of the views of
California. He considered the views of his State were those expressed
by Mr. Douglas.

Mr. Gwin replied that he was sent here to do his duty in representing
the Democracy of California, and he knew they indorse the action of
the Administration, and do not at all indorse the interpretation given
by the senator from Illinois.

Mr. Douglas (to Mr. Gwin.) I do say the records show a very general
concurrence in the views I then expressed.

Mr. Iverson raised the question of order, that Mr. Douglas had spoken
many times. He and Mr. Davis had occupied the floor four or five
hours. The point of order was sustained.

Mr. Hunter said it was with reluctance that he occupied the time at
the late period of the evening, but the turn the debate had taken
rendered an explanation necessary, in justice to himself. He differed
with the senator from Illinois, both in the history of the
Kansas-Nebraska act, and what was intended by it. When the proposition
was made to pass that, he maintained, as he has always done since he
has had a place on that floor, that the South had a right to
protection for their slave property in the territories.

Mr. Hunter read from his speech of that date, showing the views he
then expressed. The case stood thus: southern men on one side
maintained they had right, under the Constitution, to protection to
their slave property; northern men thought the contrary, and there was
no chance of agreement between them, as the act was very carefully
framed, neither affirming nor disaffirming the power of the territory
to abolish slavery, but reserving the question of right, and agreeing
to refer to the judiciary any points arising out of it. It was in
itself a compromise, in which neither party conceded their opinions or
their rights. They were but placed in abeyance until a case affecting
them might arise. No southern man with whom he acted ever considered
he was conferring on the Territorial Legislature the absolute right to
deal with this subject. They agreed to this settlement as a
consequence, acting together upon points wherein they agreed, and
expressing no opinion upon points where the differences were
irreconcilable. By this they secured the repeal of the Missouri
Compromise, upon which the Democrats were agreed, by confining the act
to the general purpose to be accomplished. Justice to himself and the
distinguished senator from South Carolina, now no more, with whom he
had acted and consulted on the matter, required the explanation. Mr.
Hunter then drew the attention of the Senate to the time consumed in
the debate, and urged a vote upon the amendment.

Mr. Stuart, after some general remarks on the subject under
discussion, asked, why should the Democratic party be racked and torn
by the thought of the contingences which may not happen? If the
Democratic party in a body, if its able and efficient members
throughout the country, stand faithfully together, their flag will
remain in the ascendant, and the party will rise out of all the
difficulties which now beset it.

Mr. Bigler was opposed to Congress extending slavery in the
territories, and against Congressional intervention with slavery, and
would stand by the Baltimore and Cincinnati platforms of the
Democratic party. He believed the best interests of the country were
in the hope of the Democracy.

Mr. Douglas is a powerful debater, quick, ready at repartee, strong in
his logic, and possessing that animal courage which is so necessary to
the successful debater. Few men equal him in senatorial debate for
rough power. There are many who surpass him in silvery eloquence, who
excel him in winning, courteous debate, but no one in the present
Senate who has quite his _force_ and overwhelming courage. In the
debate, which we have abbreviated, Mr. Douglas was for hours--from
noon till nine o'clock in the evening--obliged to defend himself
against a half-dozen able and eloquent senators. His manner, his
voice, were at times like that of a wounded lion--deep, strong and
melancholy; but he fought to the last without a moment's thought of

Mr. Douglas has no sympathy with the anti-slavery sentiment of the
free States, but plants himself upon his principle, and puts slavery
and freedom upon the same footing. If the people want slavery, let
them have it. If they want freedom--no interference in favor of
slavery. This we understand to be his position, though some of his
southern friends claim that he admits that the Supreme Court is bound
to give slavery an existence _in all the territories_. In his New
Orleans speech of last winter, Mr. Douglas is reported to have said:

    "Whenever a territory has a climate, soil and production, making
    it the interest of the inhabitants to encourage slave property,
    they will pass a slave code, and give it encouragement. Whenever
    the climate, soil and production preclude the possibility of
    slavery being profitable, they will not permit it. You come right
    back to the principle of dollars and cents. I do not care where
    the migration in the southern country comes from; if old Joshua R.
    Giddings should raise a colony in Ohio, and settle down in
    Louisiana, he would be the strongest advocate for slavery in the
    whole South; he would find, when he got there, his opinion would
    be very much modified; he would find on those sugar plantations
    that it was not a question between the white man and the negro,
    but between the negro and the crocodile.

    "He would say that, between the negro and the crocodile, he took
    the side of the negro. But, between the negro and the white man,
    he would go for the white man. The Almighty has drawn the line on
    this continent, on one side of which the soil must be cultivated
    by slave labor; on the other, by white labor. That line did not
    run on thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes, for thirty-six
    degrees and thirty minutes runs over mountains and through
    valleys. But this slave line meanders in the sugar-fields and
    plantations of the South--[the remainder of the sentence was lost
    by the confusion around the reporter.] And the people living in
    their different localities and in the territories must determine
    for themselves whether their 'middle bed' is best adapted to
    slavery or free labor.

    "Hence, under the Constitution, there is no power to prevent a
    southern man going there with his slaves, more than a northern

Mr. Douglas is a man of very short stature, but of large body, and a
frame and constitution capable of great endurance. He lives in
Washington half the year, where he has a handsome residence, and the
other half in Illinois among his constituents, where he has a country
mansion. The mother of Mr. Douglas, who was so faithful to him and
whom he has never ceased to love and reverence, still lives, and has
witnessed his rise from the cabinet-maker's shop to the senatorial


Salmon Porland Chase was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, Jan. 13th,
1808. He was seven years old when his father removed to the town of
Keene, where he attended the village school. In 1817 his father died,
and two years later the boy, then only twelve years old, went to
Worthington, Ohio. His uncle, Philander Chase, was then Bishop of
Ohio, and he superintended the education of his nephew. Shortly after
this, he entered Cincinnati College, of which institution his uncle
became president. He soon was promoted to the sophomore class. After a
year's residence in Cincinnati, he returned to New Hampshire and his
mother's house; and, in 1824, entered the junior class of Dartmouth
College. He graduated in 1826. The following winter Mr. Chase went to
the city of Washington, and opened a classical school for boys. Among
his pupils were the sons of Henry Clay, William Niel, and other
distinguished men. Many of the citizens of Washington at this day well
remember Mr. Chase's efforts as a teacher among them, and at that time
learned to esteem and respect the man who has since risen to so high a
position as a politician and statesman. He closed his school in 1829,
and soon was admitted to the bar, having studied law under Mr. Niel
while teaching his school, manifesting by his industry and courage
that he was possessed of the qualities which must certainly in the end
bring him position and reputation.

In 1830, Mr. Chase left Washington for Cincinnati, where he has always
since resided, save when serving his State in an official capacity,
and pursued his profession. He was poor, unknown, and before he could
hope to attract the attention of the public, must earn his bread and
endure months, if not years, of serious toil and drudgery. During
these early years in his professional career, he prepared an edition
of Statutes of Ohio, and a preliminary sketch of the history the
State. The work made three large volumes, and at once became an
authority in the courts. The authorship of this volume was a happy
idea, for it not only brought him a moderate pecuniary reward
directly, but it also gave him the ear of the people, and practice at
once flowed in upon him.

In 1834, Mr. Chase became solicitor of the Bank of the United States
in Cincinnati, and other corporations. In 1837, he first gave public
utterance to his views upon the slavery question in its legal aspects.
The article in Appleton's Encylopædia upon Mr. Chase, which on many
points is our authority in this sketch, gives the subjoined history of
Mr. Chase's early legal arguments in reference to slavery:

"In 1837, Mr. Chase acted as counsel for a colored woman claimed as a
fugitive slave and in an elaborate argument, afterward published,
controverted the authority of Congress to impose any duties or confer
any powers in fugitive slave cases on state magistrates, a position in
which he has since been sustained by the U.S. Supreme Court; and
maintained that the law of 1793, relative to fugitives from service,
was void, because unwarranted by the Constitution of the United
States. The same year, in an argument before the Supreme Court of
Ohio, in defence of James G. Birney, prosecuted under a State law for
harboring a negro slave, Mr. Chase asserted the doctrine that slavery
is local, and independent on state law for existence and continuance,
and insisted that the person alleged to have been harbored, having
been brought within the territorial limits of Ohio by the individual
claiming her as master, was thenceforth, in fact and by right, free.
In 1838, in a newspaper review of a report of the judiciary committee
of the senate of Ohio against the granting of trial by jury to alleged
slaves, Mr. Chase took the same ground as in his legal arguments. In
1846, he was associated with the Hon. W. H. Seward as defendant's
counsel in the case of Van Zandt, before the Supreme Court of the
United States. The case excited much interest, and in a speech which
attracted marked attention, Mr. Chase argued more elaborately the
principles which he advanced in former cases, maintaining that under
the ordinance of 1787 no fugitives from service could be reclaimed
from Ohio, unless there had been an escape from one of the original
States; that it was the clear understanding of the framers of the
Constitution, and of the people who adopted it, that slavery was to be
left exclusively to the disposal of the several States, without
sanction or support from the National Government; and that the clause
of the Constitution relative to persons held to service was one of
compact between the States, and conferred no power of legislation on
Congress, having been transferred from the ordinance of 1787, in which
it conferred no power on the Confederation, and was never understood
to confer any. He was subsequently engaged for the defence in the case
of Driskell _vs._ Parish, before the U.S. Circuit Court at Columbus,
and re-argued the same positions."

Mr. Chase's _political_ history is thus summed up in the same article:

"Mr. Chase's sentiments of hostility to the nationalization of slavery
were expressed by his position in the political movements of the
country, as well as his efforts at the bar. Prior to 1841 he had taken
little part in politics. He had voted sometimes with the Democrats,
but more commonly with the Whigs, who, in the North, seemed to him
more favorable to anti-slavery views than their opponents. He
supported Gen. Harrison in 1840, but the tone of his inaugural
address, and still more the course of the Tyler administration,
convinced him that no effective resistance to the encroachments of
slavery was to be expected from any party with a slaveholding and
pro-slavery wing, modifying if not controlling its action; and in 1841
he united in a call for a convention of the opponents of slavery and
slavery extension, which assembled in Columbus in December of that
year. This convention organized the liberty party of Ohio, nominated a
candidate for governor, and issued an address to the people defining
its principles and purposes.--This address, written and reported by
Mr. Chase, and unanimously adopted by the convention, deserves
attention as one of the earliest expositions of the political
movements against slavery. In 1843, a national liberty convention
assembled at Buffalo. Mr. Chase was an active member of the committee
on resolutions, to which was referred, under a rule of the convention,
a resolution proposing 'to regard and treat the third clause of the
Constitution, whenever applied to the case of a fugitive slave, as
utterly null and void, and consequently as forming no part of the
Constitution of the United States, whenever we are called upon or
sworn to support it.' Mr. Chase opposed the resolution, and the
committee refused to report it. It was, however, afterward moved in
the convention by its author, and adopted. Having been charged in the
U.S. Senate with the authorship and advocacy of this resolution, by
Mr. Butler of South Carolina, who denounced the doctrine of mental
reservation apparently sanctioned by it, Mr. Chase replied: 'I have
only to say I never proposed the resolution; I never would propose or
vote for such a resolution. I hold no doctrine of mental reservation.
Every man, in my judgment, should speak just as he thinks, keeping
nothing back, here or elsewhere.' In 1843 it became Mr. Chase's duty
to prepare an address on behalf of the friends of liberty, Ireland,
and repeal in Cincinnati, to the loyal national repeal association in
Ireland, in reply to a letter from Daniel O'Connell.

"In this address Mr. Chase reviewed the relations of the federal
government to slavery at the period of its organization, set forth its
original anti-slavery policy, and the subsequent growth of the
political power of slavery, vindicated the action of the liberal
party, and repelled the aspersions cast by a repeal association in
Cincinnati upon anti-slavery men. In 1845 Mr. Chase projected a
southern and western liberty convention, designed to embrace 'all who,
believing that whatever is worth preserving in republicanism can be
maintained only by uncompromising war against the usurpations of the
slave power, and are therefore resolved to use all constitutional and
honorable means to effect the extinction of slavery in their
respective States, and its reduction to its constitutional limits in
the United States.' The convention was held in Cincinnati in June,
1845, and was attended by 4,000 persons; delegates were present to the
number of 2,000. Mr. Chase, as chairman of the committee, prepared the
address, giving a history of slavery in the United States, showing the
position of the Whig and Democratic parties, and arguing the necessity
of a political organization unequivocally committed to the
denationalization of slavery and the overthrow of the slave power, and
exhibiting what he regarded as the necessary hostility of the
slaveholding interest to democracy and all liberal measures. This
address was widely circulated.

"In 1847, Mr. Chase was a member of the Second National Liberty
Convention, and opposed the making of any national nomination at that
time, urging that a more general movement against slavery extension
and denomination, was likely to grow out of the agitation of the
Wilmot Proviso, and the action of Congress and political parties in
reference to slavery. In 1848, anticipating that the conventions of
the Whig and Democratic parties would probably refuse to take grounds
against the extensions of slavery, he prepared a call for a free
territory state convention at Columbus, which was signed by more than
3,000 voters of all political parties. The convention thus called was
largely attended, and invited a national convention to meet at Buffalo
in August. The influence of Mr. Chase was conspicuous in the state
convention, and no less so in the national convention, which assembled
upon its invitation, and nominated Mr. Van Buren for President. An
immense mass meeting was held at Buffalo at the same time. Mr. Chase
was president of the national convention, and also a member of its
committee on resolutions. The platform was substantially his work. On
February 22d, 1849, Mr. Chase was chosen a senator of the United
States from Ohio, receiving the entire vote of the Democratic members
of the Legislature, and of those freesoil members who favored
Democratic views. The Democratic party of Ohio, by the resolutions of
its state convention, had already declared slavery an evil; and
practically, through its press and the declarations of its leading
men, had committed itself to the denationalization of slavery. Mr.
Chase, therefore, coinciding with the Democrats in their general views
of the state policy, supported their state nominees, distinctly
announcing his intention, in the event of the party's desertion of its
anti-slavery position, in state or national conventions, to end at
once his connection with it. When the nomination of Mr. Pierce by the
Baltimore convention of 1852, with a platform approving the compromise
acts of 1850, and denouncing the further discussion of the slavery
question, was sanctioned by the Democratic party in Ohio, Mr. Chase,
true to his word, withdrew from it, and addressed to the Hon. B. F.
Butler, of New York, his associate in the Buffalo convention, a letter
in vindication of an independent Democratic party. He prepared a
platform, which was substantially adopted by the convention of the
independent Democracy at Pittsburg in 1852. Having thus gone into a
minority rather than compromise his principles, Mr. Chase gave a
cordial and energetic support to the nominees and measures of the
independent Democracy, until the Nebraska bill gave rise to a new and
powerful party, based substantially upon the ideas he had so long
maintained. As a senator of the United States, Mr. Chase delivered on
March 26 and 27, 1850, a speech against Mr. Clay's compromise bill,
reviewing thoroughly all the questions presented in it. He moved an
amendment providing against the introduction of slavery in the
territories to which the bill applied, but it failed by a vote of 25
to 30. He proposed also, though without success, an amendment to the
fugitive slave bill, securing trial by jury to alleged slaves, and
another conforming its provisions to the terms of the Constitution, by
excluding from its operation persons escaping from State or
territories, and _vice versâ_. In 1854, when the bill for the repeal
of the Missouri Compromise, commonly called the Nebraska Kansas bill,
was introduced, he drafted an appeal to the people against the
measure, which was signed by the senators and representatives in
Congress, concurring in his political opinions; and in a speech on
February 3, attempted the first elaborate exposure of the features of
that bill, as viewed by its opponents. In the general opposition to
the Nebraska bill he took a leading part, and the rejection of three
of his proposed amendments, was thought to be of such significance as
bearing on the slavery question, that it may be well to state them.
The first proposed to add after the words, 'subject only to the
Constitution of the United States,' in section 14, the following
clause: 'Under which the people of the territory, through their
appropriate representatives, may, if they see fit, prohibit the
existence of slavery therein.' This was rejected, yeas 10, nays 36.
The second proposed to give practical effect to the principle of
popular sovereignty by providing for the election by the people of the
territory of their own governor, judges, and secretary, instead of
leaving, as in the bill, their appointment to the Federal Executive.
This was defeated, yeas 10, nays 30. He then proposed an amendment of
the boundary, so as to have but one territory, named Nebraska, instead
of two entitled respectively Nebraska and Kansas. This was rejected,
yeas 8, nays 34. His opposition to the bill was ended by a final and
earnest protest against it on the night of its passage. While thus
vigilant in maintaining his principles on the slavery question, Mr.
Chase was constant in the discharge of the general duties of his
position. To divorce the Federal Government from all connection with
slavery; to confine its action strictly within Constitutional limits;
to uphold the rights of individuals and of States; to foster with
equal care all the great interests of the country, and to secure an
economical administration of the national finances, were the general
aims, which he endeavored, both by his votes and his speeches, to
promote. On the interests of the West, he always kept a watchful eye,
claiming that the Federal treasury should defray the expenses of
providing for the safety of navigation on our great inland seas, as
well as on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and advocating liberal aid
by the Federal Government to the construction of a railroad to the
Pacific by the best, shortest, and cheapest route.

"He was an earnest supporter of the policy of the free homestead
movement, in behalf of which he expressed his views during the first
session of his term, on presenting a petition for granting the public
lands, in limited quantities, to actual settlers not possessed of
other land. He was also an early advocate of cheap postage and an
unwearied opponent of extravagant appropriations. In July, 1855, Mr.
Chase was nominated by the opponents of the Nebraska bill and the
Pierce administration for governor of Ohio, and was elected. His
inaugural address, delivered in 1856, recommended economy in the
administration of public affairs, single districts for legislative
representation, annual instead of biennial sessions of the
legislature, and ample provision for the educational interests of the
State. His state policy and senatorial course were now so much
approved that at the national convention of the Republican party, held
the same year, a majority of the Ohio delegation and many delegates
from other States, desired his nomination for the presidency; but his
name was, at his request, withdrawn. His first annual message to the
Ohio legislature, in 1857, after reviewing the material resources, and
the financial and educational condition of the State, together with
its federal relations, recommended a bureau of statistics, which was
accordingly established.

"During the same year, a deficit of over $500,000 being discovered in
the State treasury, a few days before the semi-annual interest of the
State debt became due, the decided action of Gov. Chase compelled the
resignation of the State treasurer, who had concealed its existence,
secured a thorough investigation, and, through a prompt and judicious
arrangement, protected the credit of the State and averted a large
pecuniary loss. At the close of his first term, Gov. Chase desired to
retire from office, but the Republicans insisted on his renomination,
which was made by acclamation. After an active canvass, the continued
confidence of the people in his administration was manifested by his
reëlection by the largest vote ever given for a governor in Ohio. In
his annual message, in 1858, after submitting an elaborate exposition
of the financial condition and resources of Ohio, he recommended
semi-annual taxation, more stringent provisions for the security of
the treasury, and a special attention to the State benevolent
institutions, including the reform school, in which he had always
manifested a deep interest. These suggestions met the approbation of
the legislature, and laws were passed accordingly."

The sketch we have quoted, gives an _exact_ and impartial, though
brief, history of the political acts of Mr. Chase, but it is
bloodless, without enthusiasm, and _to the friends_ of the
distinguished subject of the sketch, will seem cold, giving no
adequate idea of the ability and greatness of the man; but the sketch
is perfectly impartial, and accurate in every particular.

Mr. Chase, while in the Senate of the United States, bore a very high
reputation as a debater and as an orator. He never descended to notice
personal attacks unless his political history was called in question,
and remained cool and unruffled through scenes of great excitement and
under a storm of personalities. His manner is dignified and his
eloquence massive. Few men can deliver a speech, which for force,
solid arguments, and high-toned eloquence, will equal the best of his.
He is not an impetuous orator, or man, but is always collected, calm,
and self-poised. Nevertheless, he has warm and enthusiastic friends,
and those who know him best esteem him most.

In his personal appearance, Mr. Chase is somewhat imposing, for he is
tall, of large proportions, with a large head and face, a fine port,
dignified bearing, and an eye of quick intelligence. Through his
entire career, whether at the bar, in Congress, or in the
gubernatorial chair, Mr. Chase has never for an instant compromised
the integrity or dignity of his character.

One of the finest of his senatorial speeches was made Feb. 3, 1854, in
reply to a severe attack of Mr. Douglas upon himself and two or three
other gentlemen, who had issued an address to the people upon the
Kansas-Nebraska act. We can only quote the closing portions of this
great speech:

    "Mr. President, three great eras have marked the history of this
    country, in respect of slavery. The first may be characterized as
    the era of enfranchisement. It commenced with the earliest
    struggle for national independence. The spirit which inspired it
    animated the hearts and prompted the efforts of Washington, of
    Jefferson, of Patrick Henry, of Wythe, of Adams, of Jay, of
    Hamilton, of Morris--in short, of all the great men of our early
    history. All these hoped, all these labored for, all these
    believed in the final deliverance of the country from the curse of
    slavery. That spirit burned in the Declaration of Independence,
    and inspired the provisions of the Constitution, and of the
    Ordinance of 1787. Under its influence, when in full vigor, State
    after State provided for the emancipation of the slaves within
    their limits, prior to the adoption of the Constitution. Under its
    feebler influence at a later period, and during the administration
    of Mr. Jefferson, the importation of slaves was prohibited into
    Mississippi and Louisiana, in the faint hope that these
    territories might finally become free States. Gradually that
    spirit ceased to influence our public councils, and lost its
    control over the American heart and the American policy. Another
    era succeeded, but by such imperceptible gradations that the hues
    which separate the two cannot be traced with absolute precision.
    The facts of the two eras meet and mingle as the currents of
    confluent streams mix so imperceptibly that the observer cannot
    fix the spot where the meeting waters blend.

    "This second era was the era of Conservatism. Its great maxim was
    to preserve the existing condition. Men said, let things remain as
    they are; let slavery stay where it is; exclude it where it is
    not; refrain from disturbing the public quiet by agitation; adjust
    all differences that arise, not by the application of principles,
    but by compromises.

    "It was during this period that the senator tells us that slavery
    was maintained in Illinois, both while a territory and after it
    became a State, in despite of the provisions of the ordinance. It
    is true, sir, that the slaves held in the Illinois country, under
    the French law, were not regarded as absolutely emancipated by the
    provisions of the ordinance. But full effect was given to the
    ordinance in excluding the introduction of slaves, and thus the
    territory was preserved from eventually becoming a slave State.
    The few slaveholders in the territory of Indiana, which then
    included Illinois, succeeded in obtaining such an ascendency in
    its affairs, that repeated applications were made, not merely by
    conventions of delegates, but by the Territorial Legislature
    itself, for a suspension of a clause in the ordinance prohibiting
    slavery. These applications were reported upon by John Randolph,
    of Virginia, in the House, and by Mr. Franklin, in the Senate.
    Both the reports were against suspension. The grounds stated by
    Randolph are specially worthy of being considered now. They are
    thus stated in the report:

    "'That the committee deem it highly dangerous and inexpedient to
    impair a provision wisely calculated to promote the happiness and
    prosperity of the northwestern country, and to give strength and
    security to that extensive frontier. In the salutary operation of
    this sagacious and benevolent restraint, it is believed that the
    inhabitants of Indiana will, at no very distant day, find ample
    remuneration for a temporary privation of labor and of

    "Sir, these reports, made in 1803 and 1807, and the action of
    Congress upon them, in conformity with their recommendation, saved
    Illinois, and perhaps Indiana, from becoming slave States. When
    the people of Illinois formed their State constitution, they
    incorporated into it a section providing that neither slavery nor
    involuntary servitude shall be hereafter introduced into this
    State. The constitution made provision for the continued service
    of the few persons who were originally held as slaves, and then
    bound to service under the Territorial laws, and for the freedom
    of their children, and thus secured the final extinction of
    slavery. The senator thinks that this result is not attributable
    to the ordinance. I differ from him. But for the ordinance I have
    no doubt slavery would have been introduced into Indiana,
    Illinois, and Ohio. It is something to the credit of the era of
    conservatism, uniting its influences with those of the expiring
    era of enfranchisement, that it maintained the Ordinance of 1787
    in the north-west.

    "The era of conservatism passed, also, by imperceptible
    gradations, into the era of slavery propagandism. Under the
    influences of this new spirit, we opened the whole territory
    acquired from Mexico, except California, to the ingress of
    slavery. Every foot of it was covered by a Mexican prohibition;
    and yet, by the legislation of 1850, we consented to expose it to
    the introduction of slaves. Some, I believe, have actually been
    carried into Utah and into New Mexico. They may be few, perhaps,
    but a few are enough to affect materially the probable character
    of their future governments.

    "Sir, I believe we are on the verge of another era. The
    introduction of this question here, and its discussion, will
    greatly hasten its advent. That era will be the era of reaction.
    We, who insist upon the denationalization of slavery, and upon the
    absolute divorce of the General Government from all connection
    with it, will stand with the men who favored the compromise acts,
    and who yet wish to adhere to them, in their letter and in their
    spirit, against the repeal of the Missouri prohibition. You may
    pass it here, you may send it to the other House, it may become
    law; but its effect will be to satisfy all thinking men that no
    compromise with slavery will endure, except so long as they serve
    the interests of slavery; and that there is no safe and honorable
    ground to stand upon, except that of restricting slavery within
    State limits, and excluding it absolutely from the whole sphere of
    federal jurisdiction. The old questions between political parties
    are at rest. No great question so thoroughly possesses the public
    mind as this of slavery. This discussion will hasten the
    inevitable reorganization of parties upon the new issues which our
    circumstances suggest. It will light up a fire in the country
    which may, perhaps, consume those who kindle it.

    "I cannot believe that the people of this country have so far lost
    sight of the maxims and principles of the Revolution, or are so
    insensible to the obligations which those maxims and principles
    impose, as to acquiesce in the violation of this compact. Sir, the
    Senator from Illinois tells us that he proposes a final settlement
    of all territorial questions in respect to slavery, by the
    application of the principle of popular sovereignty. What kind of
    popular sovereignty is that which allows one portion of the people
    to enslave another portion? Is that the doctrine of equal rights?
    Is that exact justice? Is that the teaching of enlightened,
    liberal, progressive Democracy? No, sir; no! There can be no real
    Democracy which does not fully maintain the rights of man, as man.
    Living, practical, earnest Democracy imperatively requires us,
    while carefully abstaining from unconstitutional interference with
    the internal regulations of any State upon the subject of slavery,
    or any other subject, to insist upon the practical application of
    its great principles in all the legislation of Congress.

    "I repeat, sir, that we who maintain these principles will stand
    shoulder to shoulder with the men who, differing from us upon
    other questions, will yet unite with us in opposition to the
    violation of plighted faith contemplated by this bill. There are
    men, and not a few, who are willing to adhere to the compromise of
    1850. If the Missouri prohibition, which that compromise
    incorporates and preserves among its own provisions, shall be
    repealed, abrogated, broken up, thousands will say: Away with all
    compromises; they are not worth the paper on which they are
    printed; we will return to the old principles of the Constitution.
    We will assert the ancient doctrine, that no person shall be
    deprived of life, liberty or property, by the legislation of
    Congress, without due process of law. Carrying out that principle
    into its practical applications, we will not cease our efforts
    until slavery shall cease to exist wherever it can be reached by
    the constitutional action of the government.

    "Sir, I have faith in progress. I have faith in Democracy. The
    planting and growth of this nation, upon this western continent,
    was not an accident. The establishment of the American Government,
    upon the sublime principles of the Declaration of Independence,
    and the organization of the Union of these States, under our
    existing Constitution, was the work of great men, inspired by
    great ideas, guided by Divine Providence. These men, the fathers
    of the Republic, have bequeathed to us the great duty of so
    administering the government which they organized, as to protect
    the rights, to guard the interests, and promote the well-being, of
    all persons within its jurisdiction, and thus present to the
    nations of the earth a noble example of wise and just
    self-government. Sir, I have faith enough to believe that we shall
    yet fulfill this high duty. Let me borrow the inspiration of
    Milton, while I declare my belief, that we have yet a country 'not
    degenerated, nor drooping to a fatal decay, but destined, by
    casting off the old and wrinkled skin of corruption, to outlive
    these pangs, and wax young again, and, entering the glorious ways
    of truth and prosperous virtue, become great and honorable in
    these latter ages. Methinks I see in my mind a great and puissant
    nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking
    her invincible locks. Methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her
    mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday
    beam; purging and unscaling her long-abused sight at the fountain
    itself of heavenly radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and
    flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter
    about, amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would
    prognosticate a year of sects and schisms.'

    "Sir, we may fulfill this sublime destiny, if we will but
    faithfully adhere to the great maxims of the Revolution; honestly
    carrying into their legitimate practical applications the high
    principles of democracy; and preserve inviolate plighted faith and
    solemn compacts. Let us do this, putting our trust in the God of
    our fathers, and there is no dream of national prosperity, power,
    and glory, which ancient or modern builders of ideal commonwealths
    ever conceived, which we may not hope to realize. But if we turn
    aside from these ways of honor, to walk in the by-paths of
    temporary expedients, compromising with wrong, abetting
    oppression, and repudiating faith, the wisdom and devotion and
    labors of our fathers will have been all--all in vain.

    "Sir, I trust that the result of this discussion will show that
    the American Senate will sanction no breach of compact. Let us
    strike from the bill the statement which historical facts and our
    personal recollections disprove, and then reject every proposition
    which looks toward a violation of the plighted faith and solemn
    compact which our fathers made, and which we, their sons, are
    bound, by every tie of obligation, sacredly to maintain."

Mr. Chase's opinions respecting the independence of the State courts
can be gathered from his message to the Ohio Legislature, Jan. 4,
1858. We quote:

    "A disposition has been manifested, within the last few years, by
    some of the officials of the Federal Government, exercising their
    functions within the limits of Ohio, to disregard the authority,
    and to encroach upon the rights of the State, to an extent and in
    a manner which demands your notice.

    "In February, 1856, several colored persons were seized in
    Hamilton County as fugitive slaves. One of these persons, Margaret
    Garner, in the frenzy of the moment, impelled, as it seems, by the
    dread of seeing her children dragged, with herself, back to
    slavery, attempted to slay them on the spot, and actually
    succeeded in killing one. For this act, she and her companions
    were indicted by the grand jury for the crime of murder, and were
    taken into custody upon a writ regularly issued from the Court of
    Common Pleas.

    "While thus imprisoned under the legal process of a State court,
    for the highest crime known to our code, a writ of habeas corpus
    was issued by a judge of the District Court of the United States,
    requiring their production before him. The writ was obeyed by the
    sheriff, and, contrary to all expectations, and in disregard, as I
    must think, of principle and authority, the prisoners were taken
    from his custody by order of the judge, and, without allowing any
    opportunity for the interposition of the State authorities,
    delivered over to the Marshal of the United States, by whom they
    were immediately transported beyond our limits. The alleged ground
    for this action and order was that the indicted parties had been
    seized as fugitive slaves upon a Federal Commissioner's warrant,
    before the indictment and arrest, and that the right to their
    custody, thus acquired, was superior to that of the sheriff, under
    the process of the State. This doctrine must necessarily give
    practical impunity to murder whenever the murderer may be seized
    by a federal official as a fugitive from service before arrest for
    the crime under State authority. Imputing no wrong intention to
    the judge, I am constrained to add that his proceeding seems to me
    an abuse, rather than an exercise, of judicial power.

    "A similar case occurred more recently in the county of Champaign.
    Several deputies of the federal marshal having arrested certain
    citizens of this State for some alleged offence against the
    Fugitive Slave act, a writ of habeas corpus was issued by the
    probate judge of that county, requiring the arrested parties to be
    brought before him for inquiry into the grounds of detention. The
    sheriff of Clark County, while attempting to execute this writ,
    was assaulted by these petty officials and seriously injured,
    while his deputy was fired upon, though happily without effect. A
    warrant was issued by a justice of the peace for the apprehension
    of the perpetrators of these offences. This warrant was duly
    executed and the prisoners committed to jail under the custody of
    the sheriff of Clark County. A writ of habeas corpus was then
    issued by the same district judge who had interposed in the case
    of Margaret Garner, requiring the sheriff of Clark County to
    produce his prisoners before him at the city of Cincinnati. This
    writ was also obeyed, and the prisoners were discharged from
    custody by the order of the judge, on the ground that being
    federal officers, and charged with the execution of a federal
    writ, they had a right to overcome, by any necessary violence, all
    attempts made under the process of a State court, to detain them
    or their prisoners, even for inquiry into the legality of the
    custody in which those prisoners were held.

    "This principle cannot be sound. It subverts effectually the
    sovereignty of the State. It asserts the right of any district
    judge of the United States to arrest the execution of State
    process, and to nullify the functions of State courts and juries,
    whenever in his opinion a person charged with crime under State
    authority has acted in the matter forming the basis of the charge,
    in pursuance of any federal law or warrant. No act of Congress, in
    my judgment, sanctions this principle. Such an act, indeed, would
    be clearly unconstitutional, because in plain violation of the
    express provision which requires that the trial of all crimes
    shall be by jury.

    "It is deeply to be regretted that collisions of this kind should
    occur. The authorities of Ohio have never failed in due
    consideration for the constitutional rights of federal courts, nor
    will they thus fail. But they cannot admit, without dishonor, that
    State process is entitled to less respect than federal, nor can
    they ever concede to federal writs or federal officials a
    deference which is not conceded to those of the State.

    "The true course is one of mutual respect and mutual deference.
    Whenever, in any inquiry upon habeas corpus, by any court, State
    or federal, it may be ascertained that the applicant for the writ
    is detained under valid process in pursuance of a constitutional
    law, he should be remanded at once to the custody from which he
    may have been taken for trial in due course. No investigation
    should take place into the guilt or innocence of the party
    charged, or, what is substantially the same thing, whether the
    facts were justified by the authority under which the applicant
    was acting at the time. Inquiries of this character are for juries
    upon a regular trial and in open court; not for a judge at
    chambers. If made upon one side upon habeas corpus, they must also
    be made upon the other. If federal courts are to protect federal
    officials from prosecution by State courts for alleged violations
    of State law, State courts in their turn must protect State
    officers from prosecution in federal courts, under similar
    circumstances. Hence, dangerous conflicts must arise, and imminent
    peril both to liberty and union.

    "If such conflicts must come, to the extent of the power vested in
    me, I shall maintain the honor of the State, and support the
    authority of her courts."

We have scarcely given the reader a sample of Mr. Chase's style of
speech, or opinions on the slavery question, and it is quite possible
we have not given the most eloquent extracts which may be found in his
public speeches and messages, but we have quoted enough to show every
intelligent reader who Mr. Chase is and what his opinions are.


We shall only give an outline sketch of Edward Bates, of Missouri, for
though a man whose name is prominently before the public, yet he has
seen little of that congressional life which gives a man a political

Mr. Bates was born in Goochland County, Virginia, on the 4th of
September, 1793, being the seventh son and twelfth child of Thomas F.
Bates. His ancestors came from the west of England to the Jamestown
settlement as early as 1625, and they were plain people of the middle
rank of English life. They were Quakers, and remained so for more than
a century--some of the descendants to this day. The ancestors of Mr.
Bates, however, forfeited membership in the Society of Friends--or we
should say, rather, Mr. Bates' _father_, Thomas F. Bates, lost his
membership with the Society for bearing arms in the war of the
Revolution. A noble cause to die for, and certainly to lose
ecclesiastical relations for! He was at the siege of York; and his
children from that day were no more Quakers.

The scholastic education of Mr. Bates was not perhaps first-class. He
entered no college and passed through with no "course," but was,
nevertheless, well taught in the elements, at home, by his father and
a kinsman, Benj. Bates, of Hanover; at school, for several years, at
Charlotte Hall Academy, Maryland; and a most excellent school it was.

The choice of the young man for a profession was the navy, and in the
winter of 1811-12, a midshipman's warrant was offered him; but in
deference to the wishes of his mother, he declined it and gave up his
choice. This fact gives a key to the man's character. He has always
been willing to do his duty, however great the personal sacrifice. In
1813, he served as a volunteer at Norfolk, Va., in a militia regiment.
In 1814, he emigrated to St. Louis, under the kind care of his elder
brother, Frederick Bates, then Secretary of Missouri Territory, and
afterward Governor of the State. He entered the law office of Rufus
Easton, an eminent lawyer, who was in his time a delegate from the
territory in Congress. In 1816, he was duly licensed to practise law,
and succeeded so well that in 1819 he was appointed Circuit Attorney.
In 1820, he was one of the eight men who represented St. Louis County
in the convention which formed the State Constitution for Missouri.
Later, he was the Attorney-General of the State; and later yet, was
elected for several times to both houses of the Missouri General
Assembly. In 1824, President Monroe appointed him U.S. Attorney-General
for the Missouri District. In 1826, he was elected to Congress, where
he served honorably for two years. In 1828, he ran again, but was
beaten by the storm of Jackson politics. This result of the
congressional campaign seemed to disgust him with public political
life, and he quietly withdrew to private life. He has since steadily
practised law to support a large family--with one exception. In 1853,
he was elected Judge of the St. Louis Land Court. After performing the
duties of the office for about three years, he resigned it and went
back to the practice of the law.

In 1847, to go back a little, Mr. Bates presided over the Internal
Improvement Convention at Chicago. In 1850, Mr. Fillmore appointed him
Secretary of War, but he declined the office. In 1856, he presided at
the Whig Convention in Baltimore; in 1858, received from Harvard
University the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. We omitted to
mention that, in 1823, Mr. Bates married Julia D. Coulter, a native of
South Carolina, by whom he has had seventeen children, eight of whom

Before we give a few of Mr. Bates' political opinions, one fact should
be stated. He, a southern man, went to Missouri and became a
slaveholder, by inheritance and otherwise; yet, a few years since, set
his slaves free, and is understood to be unequivocally in favor of
emancipation in the State of Missouri.

Now for Mr. Bates' political opinions--and we shall quote from his
late letter. He says, speaking of slavery:

    "As to the negro question, I have always thought, and often
    declared, in speech and in print, that it is a pestilent question,
    the agitation of which has never done good to any party, section,
    or class, and never can do good, unless it be accounted good to
    stir up the angry passions of men, and exasperate the unreasoning
    jealousies of sections, and by these bad means foist some unfit
    men into office, and keep some fit men out. It is a sensitive
    question, into whose dangerous vortex it is quite possible for
    good men to be drawn unawares. But when I see a man, at the South
    or the North, of mature age and some experience, persist in urging
    the question, after the successful experience of the last few
    years, I can attribute his conduct to no higher motive than
    personal ambition or sectional prejudice."

This is all Mr. Bates says on the slavery question. He then goes on to
speak in favor of internal improvements to advance the interests and
protect the rights and industry of the country.

    "Protection, if not the sole, is the chief end of government. It
    is for the governing power to judge, in every instance, what kind
    and what degree of protection is needful--whether a navy to guard
    our commerce all around the world, or an army to defend the
    country against armed invasion from without, or domestic
    insurrection from within; or a tariff to protect our home industry
    against the dangerous obtrusion of foreign labor and capital."

As to our foreign policy generally, he says he is willing to leave it
where Washington placed it, on the sage maxim, "Peace with all
nations; entangling alliances with none." The greedy appetite for
foreign acquisition which makes us covet our neighbor's lands, and
devise cunning schemes to get them, has little of his sympathy. He
argues this point briefly, but forcibly, opposing the acquisition of
Cuba, and the other islands and Central American countries which would
then be demanded. As to buying them, we had better wait till we cease
borrowing money to pay current expenses; and before conquering, pause
and estimate the cost of rushing into war with all maritime Europe,
and half of America. Cuba has much more to fear from us than we have
to fear from Cuba. Mr. Bates continues:

    "But suppose we could get, honestly and peaceably, the whole
    country, continental and insular, from the Rio Grande to the
    Orinoco, and from Trinidad to Cuba, and thus establish our _mare
    clausum_, and shut the gate of the world across the Isthmus, can
    we govern them wisely and well? For the last few years, in the
    attempt to govern our home territories of Kansas and Utah, we have
    not very well maintained the dignity and justice of the nation,
    nor secured the peace and prosperity of the subject people....

    "For my part, I should grieve to have my country become, like
    Rome, a conquering and dominant nation; for I think there are few
    or no examples in history, of governments whose chief objects were
    glory and power, which did ever secure the happiness and
    prosperity of their own people. Such governments may grow great
    and famous, and advance a few of their citizens to wealth and
    nobility, but the price of their grandeur is the personal
    independence and individual freedom of their people. Still less am
    I inclined to see absorbed into our system, "on an equal footing
    with the original States," the various and mixed races (amounting
    to I know not how many millions) which inhabit the continent and
    isthmus south of our present border. I am not willing to inoculate
    our body politic with the virus of their diseases, political and
    social--diseases which, with them, are chronic and hereditary, and
    with us could hardly fail to produce corruption in the mind and
    weakness in the members."

The letter concludes as follows:

    "It seems to me that an efficient, home-loving government,
    moderate and economical in its administration, peaceful in its
    objects, and just to all nations, need have no fear of invasion at
    home, or serious aggressions abroad. The nations of Europe have to
    stand continually in defence of their existence, but the conquest
    of our country by a foreign power is simply impossible, and no
    nation is so absurd as to entertain the thought. We may conquer
    ourselves by local strifes and sectional animosities, and when, by
    our folly and wickedness, we have accomplished that great
    calamity, there will be none to pity us for the consequences of so
    great a crime.

    "If our government would devote all its energies to the promotion
    of peace and friendship with all foreign countries; the
    advancement of commerce; the increase of agriculture; the growth
    and stability of manufactures, and the cheapening, quickening, and
    securing the internal trade and travel of our country; in short,
    if it would devote itself in earnest to the establishment of a
    wise and steady policy of internal government, I think we should
    witness a growth and consolidation of wealth and comfort, and
    power for good, which cannot be reasonably hoped for from a
    fluctuating policy, always watching for the turns of good fortune,
    or from a grasping ambition to seize new territories, which are
    hard to get and harder to govern.

    "The present position of the administration is a sorrowful
    commentary upon the broad democracy of its professions. In theory,
    the people have the right and ability to do anything--in practice,
    we are verging rapidly to the one man power.

    "The President, the ostensible head of the national Democrats, is
    eagerly striving to concentrate power in his own hands, and thus
    exclude both the people and their representatives from the actual
    affairs of government. Having emptied the treasury, which he found
    full, and living precariously upon the borrowed money, he now
    demands of Congress to intrust to his unchecked discretion the war
    power, the purse, and the sword.

    "First, he asks Congress to authorize him, by statute, to use the
    army to take _military_ possession of northern Mexico, and hold it
    under his _protectorate_, and as a security for debts due to our
    citizens. _Civil_ possession would not answer, for that exposes
    him, as in the case of Kansas, to be annoyed by a factious
    Congress, and a rebellious territorial legislature.

    "Second, not content with this, he demands discretionary power to
    use the army and navy in the South also, in blockading the coast
    and marching his troops into the interior of Mexico and New
    Granada, to protect our citizens against all evil doers along the
    transit route of Tehuantepec and Panama, and he and his supporters
    claim this enormous power upon the ground that, in this particular
    at least, he ought to be the equal of the greatest monarch of
    Europe. They forget that our fathers limited the power of the
    President by design, and for the reason that they had found out,
    by sad experience, that the monarchs of Europe were too strong for

    "Third, in strict pursuance of his doctrine, first publicly
    announced from Ostend, he demands of Congress to hand over to him
    thirty millions of dollars, to be used at his discretion, to
    facilitate his acquisition of Cuba. Facilitate--how? Perhaps it
    would be imprudent to tell.

    "Add to all this the fact (as yet unexplained) that one of the
    largest naval armaments which sailed from our coasts is now
    operating in South America, ostensibly against a poor little
    republic far up the Plata River, to settle some little quarrel
    between the two Presidents. If Congress had been polite enough to
    grant the President's demand of the sword and the purse against
    Mexico, Central America and Cuba, this navy, its duty done at the
    South, might be made, on its way home, to arrive in the Gulf very
    opportunely, to aid the 'Commander-in-Chief' in the acquisition of
    some very valuable territory.

    "I allude to these facts with no malice against Mr. Buchanan, but
    as evidences of the dangerous change which is now obviously sought
    to be made in the practical working of the Government--the
    concentration of power in the hands of the President--and the
    dangerous policy, now almost established, of looking abroad for
    temporary glory and aggrandizement, instead of looking at home for
    all the purposes of good government--peaceable, moderate,
    economical--protecting all interests, and by a fixed policy
    calling into safe exercise all the talents and industry of our
    people, and thus steadily advancing our country in everything
    which can make a nation great, happy, and permanent.

    "The rapid increase of the public expenditures (and that, too,
    under the management of statesmen professing to be peculiarly
    economical) is an alarming sign of corruption and decay.

    "The increase bears no fair proportion to the growth and expansion
    of the country, but looks rather like wanton waste and criminal
    negligence. The ordinary objects are not materially augmented--the
    army and navy remained on a low peace establishment--the military
    defences are little, if at all enlarged--the improvement of
    harbors, lakes and rivers is abandoned, and the Pacific railway is
    not only not begun, but its very location is scrambled for by
    hungry sections, which succeed in nothing but mutual defeat. In
    short, the money, to an enormous amount (I am told at the rate of
    from eighty to one hundred millions a year), is gone, and we have
    little or nothing to show for it.

    "In profound peace with foreign nations, and surrounded by the
    proofs of national growth and individual prosperity, the treasury,
    by less than two years of mismanagement, is made bankrupt, and the
    government itself is living from hand to mouth on bills of credit
    and borrowed money! This humiliating state of things could hardly
    happen, if the men in power were both honest and wise. The
    democratic economists in Congress confess that they have
    recklessly wasted the public revenue; they confess it by refusing
    to raise the tariff to meet the present exigency, and by insisting
    that they can replenish the exhausted treasury and support the
    government, in credit and efficiency, by simply striking off their
    former extravagances.

    "An illustrious predecessor of the President is reported to have
    declared 'that those who live on borrowed money ought to break.' I
    do not concur in that harsh saying; yet I am clearly of the
    opinion that the government, in common prudence (to say nothing of
    pride and dignity), ought to reserve its credit for great
    transactions and unforeseen emergencies. In common times of peace,
    it ought always to have an established revenue, equal, at least,
    to its current expenses. And that revenue ought to be so levied as
    to foster and protect the industry of the country, employed in our
    most necessary and important manufactures."


Daniel Stevens Dickinson was born at Goshen, Litchfield County, Conn.,
Sept. 11, 1800.

His father, Daniel T. Dickinson, was a farmer, an intelligent, upright
man, who through life was devoted to his calling as the most honorable
and useful, and left an unsullied name.

In 1806, the family removed to what is now Guilford, Chenango County,
New York, where Daniel S. Dickinson spent his boyhood, mostly on the
farm, in the usual occupations of a farmer's boy.

His education, as far as public advantages were concerned, was limited
to the common schools of the country; but with a spirit of
self-reliance, untiring industry and an ardent desire for knowledge
and advancement, he availed himself of such private facilities as he
could command or devise, and persevering in a plan of self-education
systematically, with a fine literary taste and extensive reading and
study, he early became a thorough English scholar, well versed in the
classics and familiar with general literature.

Between 1816 and 1820, he learned, and worked as apprentice and
journeyman at, a mechanic's trade. In 1820, he commenced teaching and
was successfully engaged in it considerably up to 1825, both in the
common and in academical or select schools.

About 1820, he learned, without a teacher, the art of land surveying,
in which he became expert, and practised somewhat extensively until
1828. During a portion of the time, while teaching and surveying, he
was also engaged in the study of the law. He married, in 1822, Lydia
Knapp, daughter of the late Colby Knapp, M.D., an early settler of
Guilford, a prominent member of the medical profession, and extensively
identified with the early history of the town and county. They have had
four children, only two of whom, the youngest--daughters--are living.
In 1828, he was admitted to the practice of the law, and opened an
office at Guilford, where he remained in practice until 1831.

In December, 1831, he removed to Binghamton, the county seat of Broome
County, New York, where he has ever since resided. He immediately
entered upon an extensive legal practice, and soon took rank among the
ablest lawyers of the State. He was made the first President of
Binghamton, on its municipal organization in 1834. Was a member of the
Baltimore Convention which nominated Van Buren and Johnson, in 1835.
Was elected to the State Senate in the fall of 1836; took his seat 1st
January, 1837, and served for four years as a senator and member of
the Court for the Correction of Errors, in both of which capacities,
as a debater, legislator and jurist, he maintained a prominent rank.
His review in the Senate of the message of Governor Seward established
him at once as a leader of his party, and is still referred to among
politicians as exhibiting both the tact and power which afterward so
strongly marked his public career. His opinions delivered in the Court
of Errors are models of conciseness and force, and temper in just
proportion the technicalities of law with the deductions of sound
reason and strong common sense.

His term in the State Senate expired Dec. 31, 1840. At the election in
1840, he was a candidate for the office of Lieut. Governor, at the
time Mr. Van Buren ran the second time for President, and was
defeated, though he received 5,000 more votes than Mr. Van Buren.

In 1842, finding that his name was being used again in connection with
the office of Lieut. Governor, he declined the nomination in advance
of the meeting of the convention, but was nevertheless nominated
unanimously and by acclamation, and compelled by circumstances to
accept, and was elected by 25,000 majority. The office of Lieut.
Governor made him President of the Senate, Presiding Judge of the
Court for the Correction of Errors, member of the Canal Board, Regent
of the University, etc., etc. His term of office expired Dec. 31,
1844, and he declined a reëlection. It was held during a somewhat
stormy period in the history of the State, but was so discharged as to
add to his reputation with the people and his standing with the
Democratic party. As the presiding officer of the Senate, in
particular, he showed a decision, firmness and dignity of character
which elicited the admiration and approval of opponents as well as

At the election in 1844, he opened the Presidential campaign in New
York on the annexation of Texas, which he warmly advocated against the
opinion of many leading Democrats. He spent the whole campaign upon
the stump; was one of the Democratic _State_ electors, and united in
casting the vote of the State for Polk and Dallas. About the 1st of
December, 1844, he was appointed by Governor Bouck United State
senator in place of N. P. Tallmadge, resigned, and immediately
proceeded to Washington and took his seat as such. Governor
Tallmadge's term expired on the 4th of March, 1845. On the meeting of
the Legislature in January, 1845, he was elected for the unexpired
term of Governor Tallmadge, and subsequently for the regular term of
six years, from 4th March, 1845; during which term he remained in the
Senate, closing his public service 4th March, 1851. For a number of
years he was Chairman of the Committee of Finance in the Senate, but
declined it, and all committee service, the last short session of the

He was a member of the committee to bear the remains of Mr. Calhoun to
his native State, and discharged the duty with the almost filial
regard he felt for the great man who had been called away from the
field of his public labors. This is the only time he ever visited the
South; but, though necessarily a hasty trip, he received many tokens
of public and private appreciation.

In 1847, he introduced into the Senate, and advocated in an able
speech, his celebrated resolution on the acquisition and annexation of
territory, and asserting, in opposition to the doctrines of the Wilmot
Proviso, the principles of "popular sovereignty," which formed the
basis of the adjustment of 1850, and has since been so fully approved
by the people.

He opposed the Oregon Treaty, which surrendered several degrees of
American territory to Great Britain.

He opposed the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, which he conceived to be a
cheat, and has been a constant source of embarrassment and
misunderstanding between the two governments.

During the session of 1850, he was given a public dinner by the
Democrats of the counties of New York, Kings, Queens, Richmond and
Westchester, at the city of New York. The invitation was tendered by
the leading Democrats of the five counties. They said in it that the
occasion was sought for the purpose of "giving full utterance to the
sentiments of respect and confidence with which his distinguished
political services to our common country had inspired them," and
closed as follows: "In the trying crisis through which our country,
and we may add the cause of the world's freedom, and of Republicanism,
is now passing, the State of New York is most fortunate in being
represented in the Senate of the Union, by one whose patriotism soars
above the level of time-serving purposes, and whose eminent talents
and moral worth command respect both in the State he represents, and
in the councils of the nation."

On his visit to New York, in compliance with this invitation, besides
the splendid public _fête_, at which Charles O'Connor presided, he was
waited upon by the various Democratic committees with resolutions and
congratulatory addresses approving his course; was made the guest of
the Common Council, although it was then politically Whig, who
unanimously presented him the "freedom of the city," and passed
resolutions thanking him for his public services in behalf of the city
and State.

He was a member of the Committee of Thirteen in the Senate, of which
Mr. Clay was chairman, which perfected the compromise measures of
1850, and took a leading part in their advocacy and adoption: a policy
which, though often disturbed by demagogues of both parties since, has
signally borne the test of the public judgment. At the close of the
session at which those measures were adopted, he received from Mr.
Webster the beautiful letter reference to his course, which we append.


    WASHINGTON, _Sept. 27, 1850_.

    MY DEAR SIR: Our companionship in the Senate is dissolved. After
    this long and important session, you are about to return to your
    home, and I shall try to find leisure to visit mine. I hope we may
    meet each other again two months hence for the discharge of our
    duties in our respective stations in the government. But life is
    uncertain, and I have not felt willing to take leave of you
    without placing in your hands a note containing a few words which
    I wish to say to you.

    In the earlier part of our acquaintance, my dear sir, occurrences
    took place which I remember with constantly increasing pain,
    because the more I have known of you the greater has been my
    respect for your talents. But it is your noble, able, manly and
    patriotic conduct in support of the great measures of this session
    which has entirely won my heart, and secured my highest regard. I
    hope you may live long to serve your country; but I do not think
    you are ever likely to see a crisis in which you may be able to do
    so much either for your own distinction or for the public good.
    You have stood where others have fallen; you have advanced with
    firm and manly step where others have wavered, faltered and fallen
    back, and, for one, I desire to thank you, and to commend your
    conduct out of the fullness of an honest heart.

    This letter needs no reply; it is, I am aware, of very little
    value, but I have thought you might be willing to receive it, and
    perhaps to leave it where it would be seen by those who may come
    after you.

    I pray you, when you reach your own threshold, to remember me most
    kindly to your wife and daughter, and I remain, dear sir, with the
    truest esteem, your friend and obedient servant,



    BINGHAMTON, _Oct. 5, 1850_.

    MY DEAR SIR: I perused and re-perused the beautiful note which you
    placed in my hands as I was about leaving Washington, with deeper
    emotion than I have ever experienced, except under some domestic
    vicissitude. Since I learned the noble and generous qualities of
    your nature, the unfortunate occurrence in our early acquaintance,
    to which you refer, has caused me many moments of painful regret,
    and your confiding communication has furnished a powerful
    illustration of the truth that "to err is human, to forgive
    divine." Numerous and valued are the testimonials of confidence
    and regard which a somewhat extended acquaintance and lengthened
    public service have gathered around me, but among them all there
    is none to which my heart clings so fondly as this.

    I have presented it to my family and friends as the proudest
    passage in the history of an eventful life, and shall transmit it
    to my posterity as a sacred and cherished memento of friendship. I
    thank Heaven that it has fallen to my lot to be associated with
    yourself and others in resisting the mad current of disunion which
    threatened to overwhelm us; and the recollection that my course
    upon a question so momentous has received the approbation of the
    most distinguished American statesman, has more than satisfied my
    ambition. Believe me, my dear sir, that of all the patriots that
    came forward in the evil day of their country, there was no voice
    so potential as your own. Others could buffet the dark and angry
    waves, but it was your strong arm that could roll them back from
    the holy citadel.

    May that beneficent Being who holds the destiny of men and
    nations, long spare you to the public service, and may your vision
    never rest upon the disjointed fragments of a convulsed and ruined

    I pray you to accept and to present to Mrs. Webster the kind
    remembrance of myself and family, and believe me sincerely yours,


He (Mr. Dickinson) was a member of the Baltimore Convention of 1848.
In 1852, he was again a member. The convention failed to nominate on
the first day of its sitting. The second day, on assembling in the
morning, the Virginia delegation presented his name for the
Presidency. Having been the friend and supporter of Gen. Cass for the
nomination, whose name in the balloting then stood at about 100, he
thought that in honor he could not become a candidate, and arose in
the convention and declined the use of his name in a speech which did
honor to his patriotism and self-sacrifice, and was received with the
warmest applause, though many of his friends and the sound democracy
of the country regretted his decision. Virginia subsequently brought
forward, in the same manner, the name of Gen. Pierce, and he was
nominated and elected.

In 1853, he was appointed to the valuable office of Collector of the
Port of New York, which he declined. In 1858, the honorary degree of
Doctor of Laws was conferred on him by the Faculty of Hamilton
College, New York. Since the expiration of his senatorial term, he has
been entirely devoted to professional and rural occupations, and is at
present conducting a large professional business. He has not mingled
extensively in political affairs since, but was upon the stump in the
presidential campaigns of 1852 and 1856, in his own and some of the
other States.

Mr. Dickinson possesses a strong constitution, land firm and uniform
health. His habits are those of exact regularity and active industry.
He is capable of great concentration of effort, and of endurance, and
performs every day of his life, either at the courts, in his office,
upon his grounds, or keeping up his extensive correspondence, a vast
amount of labor.

He is devoted to his family and friends, is domestic in his tastes,
and his most cherished hours are those spent in the confidence and
quietude of home.

Cheerful, genial and hospitable in his disposition and intercourse, he
is exceedingly popular in social life; his ready wit and fund of
anecdote, with his varied and more solid powers of conversation,
always make him welcome, and render him in society the centre of many
a delighted circle.

He writes with facility, and in a style pointed and vigorous.

His speeches are characterized always by plain and direct purpose,
sound argument and happy illustration, and often by sparkling repartee
and passages of stirring eloquence. Some of his most effective efforts
have been made without previous preparation. In public life his
distinguishing characteristics have been fidelity to friends and
party, and the courage and intrepidity with which, regardless of
considerations personal to himself, his opinions have been maintained.

In public or in private life, the integrity and purity of his
character have never been questioned.

To show how Mr. Dickinson is regarded by his political friends, we
quote a few paragraphs from a sketch of the man in a New York journal
friendly to him:

    "Mr. Dickinson is, in the true and democratic sense of the term, a
    _national_ man. And while there have been, and still are, a few,
    both North and South, who have believed, and do believe, that
    emergencies may arise in the affairs of our country, when it would
    be better to 'let the Union slide,' his course will show that in
    his belief, under no possible or conceivable circumstances, could
    a greater misfortune happen to our country and the cause of
    humanity itself, than a rupture or dismemberment of the American
    Union. This conviction has animated and controlled all his conduct
    as a man and a public servant. In the elements of his character,
    there is no neutrality or non-committal; his leading peculiarities
    are point and positiveness--there is nothing negative about the
    man, his convictions are all absolute, and they are always
    vitalized into practical efficiency. Hence no man has warmer or
    more attached personal friends, and none more bitter political
    opponents, than he. The Van Buren men of New York, who defeated
    Gen. Cass, in 1848, by their treachery to the democratic party,
    have acted as though they thought his very political existence was
    a standing rebuke and shame for their treasonable desertion; and
    hence they have spared no pains or efforts to vilify his character
    by the grossest misrepresentations. Yet notwithstanding these
    efforts of a false and disappointed faction, the people of the
    country feel, that there is no man to whom its true friends are
    more indebted than to him, for his fearless course in stemming the
    torrent of fanaticism and disunion. When the Abolitionists raised
    the '_Black Flag_' of treason in the North, and the decree went
    forth from the immediate friends and abettors of the Van Burens,
    that every man in the State of New York who did not join with them
    in their insane attempts to tear down the constitution of the
    country, and trample its sanctions and compromises in the dust, in
    order to invade the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the
    South, should be tabooed and turned over to the mercies of the
    political guillotine, Mr. D. threw himself into the van of the
    opposition and dared to beard the lion in his den; and proclaimed
    in stern and patriotic tones of defiance, that for himself, 'he
    knew no North, no South, no East and no West--nothing but his

One of the editors of the "Dublin Nation," while travelling in this
country, gave the subjoined sketch of Mr. Dickinson, as he found him
in an American court:

    "I learned that a court of assize was sitting just then in the
    town; I was quite glad of an opportunity of seeing for myself a
    sight supposed to be such a compound of the farce and the row, 'an
    American court of justice in the rural districts.' I found out the
    courthouse; a dilapidated old building, crowning the rising ground
    at one end of the principal street. I entered the hall. On one
    side a rickety door, with a half moon grating near the top, marked
    the apartment (about twelve feet by fifteen), which served as the
    district jail. It was strong enough, probably, to be any barrier
    to the liberty of a lame ewe; yet it was large enough and strong
    enough for the requirements of the locality! I ascended the
    stairs, and, pushing open a door on the first landing, I found
    myself in 'court.' Accuse me not, oh hilarious reader, if I herein
    depart from all precedent and prefer not fun to fact; if I declare
    that I saw no revolvers, no bowie knives, heard neither cursing
    nor squabbling; possibly these are to be seen, and I may see them
    ere I return to Ireland--but here, at least, I declare, that I saw
    gravity and dignity on the bench and at the bar; order and decorum
    in the audience. The latter I attribute to the circumstance that
    there were no policemen to disturb the quiet of the place, by
    perpetually bawling out 'silence!'--an intolerable nuisance which
    _we_ have to endure. The room was about thirty feet square and
    fifteen in height. At the end opposite the entrance was the bench;
    in the middle of the apartment an oval shaped space was railed off
    on the floor; one end reaching to the desk (immediately under the
    bench), at which sat the county clerk and the sheriff. The oval
    space was alloted to the professors of the law. On each side,
    rising gradually to the rear, were rows of seats, or rather pews,
    for the auditors. The jury sat in one of these 'pews,' immediately
    on the left of the judge. Two large stoves, whose flue-pipes cut
    sundry capers in the air--with the laudable intention of giving us
    all the benefit possible of the heat they contained--kept the
    place comfortably warm. Occasionally the high sheriff would walk
    quietly down to one of the stoves, open the door, poke up the
    fire, and put in a fresh log. Accustomed from childhood to
    associate so largely the judicial functions with a horse-hair wig,
    and a black silk gown--indeed, rather inclined to think that these
    constituted the judge, and that without them there could be no law
    in the land, it seemed hard to believe that the gentleman on the
    bench before me, in civilian costume, could be a real genuine
    judge and no mistake....

    "Yet I do not know that I ever saw in the same official position
    more dignified demeanor. I never saw a judge listened to with more
    deference, and treated with more respect than in this instance, in
    this same village court, in the 'wilds' of western New York,
    though Judge Balcom wears his own hair--black as Morven's--and
    came to court without the blowing of even so much as a penny

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "Seated within the railed space--his arms folded on his breast,
    his face raised upward in attentive listening attitude--was a man
    who instantly struck me as being singular among the throng around
    him. He might be sixty years of age; a powerfully built frame and
    expansive chest gave indication of physical strength and energy;
    but it was _the face_ that impressed me. It was one of those that
    Rembrandt loved to paint; the grave serenity of strength in
    repose; the warm glow of life's autumn evening upon a countenance
    expressive of quiet dignity and intellectual power. The spacious
    dome of a massive head was covered with silvery--nay, snow-white
    hair, lending a venerable, though not an aged, aspect to the man.
    He was very plainly dressed; the blue cloth body-coat, with brass
    buttons, was perfectly American; the large high shirt-collar
    standing out from the lower part of a face entirely shaven; and a
    black silk neckerchief loosely fastened around in the very
    carelessness of effect or appearance, was in perfect keeping with
    the simplicity of his _tout ensemble_. This was the Honorable D.
    S. Dickinson, the contemporary in politics of Webster, who found
    in him, in many a passage of arms, a foeman worthy of his steel.
    For some years Mr. Dickinson has remained in retirement from
    active public life, notwithstanding many efforts to induce him to
    reënter the arena. Yet it is shrewdly suspected that his counsel
    is not seldom sought and acted upon by the great ones of that
    party of which he once was so active and able a leader."

We now proceed to make a few extracts from Mr. Dickinson's public
speeches. Here is an extract upon disunion:

    "The spirit of sectional hate, which is now inculcated by the
    votaries of a corrupt and stultified Abolitionism, by bigots,
    zealots, fanatics and demagogues; in desecrated pulpits, in ribald
    songs, in incendiary presses and strife stirring orators, has
    already promoted a feeling of irritation which should fill the
    patriotic mind with apprehension and alarm. No feud is so bitter
    as that which exists between brethren--no persecution so
    relentless as that which pursues an estranged friend--no war so
    ruthless as one of domestic strife; and yet this evil genius,
    disguised with the garb of superior sanctity--the blear-eyed
    miscreant disunion--is walking up and down the earth like Satan
    loosed from his bondage of a thousand years, endeavoring to array
    one section of the Union against the other upon a question which
    was wisely disposed of by those who laid the broad and deep
    foundations of our government.

    "With one hand it essays to tear out from the Constitution the
    pages upon which are written its holiest guaranties, and with the
    other, it seeks to erase from our nation's flag fifteen of the
    stars which help to compose the pride and hope and joy of every
    American. It would, in pursuit of its miserable and accursed
    abstractions, array man against man, brother against brother, and
    State against State, until it covered our fair land with anarchy
    and blood, and filled it with mourning and lamentation; until
    every field should be a field of battle, every hill-side drenched
    in blood, every plain a Golgotha, every valley a valley of dry
    bones; until fire should blast every field, consume every
    dwelling, destroy every temple, and leave every town black with
    ashes and desolation; until this fiendish spirit, compounding all
    the elements of fury and horror, would sweep over this fair and
    fertile portion of God's heritage, like the infuriated Hyder Ali
    on the Carnatic, leaving it one everlasting monument of barbarous

In anticipation of the acquisition of territory from Mexico, on
account of the Mexican war, the famous Wilmot proviso passed the House
of Representatives at the heel of the session in 1846. As an antidote
for the proviso, Mr. Dickinson introduced the following resolves into
the Senate, Dec. 14, 1847:

    "_Resolved_, That true policy requires the Government of the
    United States to strengthen its political and commercial relations
    upon this continent by the annexation of such contiguous territory
    as may conduce to that end, and can be justly obtained; and that
    neither in such acquisition nor in the territorial organization
    thereof, can any conditions be constitutionally imposed, or
    institutions be provided for or established, inconsistent with the
    right of the people thereof, to form a free, sovereign State, with
    the powers and privileges of the original members of the

    "_Resolved_, That, in organizing a territorial government for
    territory belonging to the United States, the principles of
    self-government upon which our federative system rests will be
    best promoted, the true spirit and meaning of the Constitution be
    observed, and the Confederacy strengthened, by leaving all
    questions concerning the domestic policy therein to the
    legislatures chosen by the people thereof."

In a speech of power, delivered in the Senate Jan. 15, 1848, he tried
to demonstrate the correctness of the principle of these resolves.
From this, the first speech made during the slavery controversy in
favor of congressional non-intervention with slavery in the
territories, we make the following extracts:

    "The Republican theory teaches that sovereignty resides with the
    people of a State, and not with its political organization; and
    the Declaration of Independence recognizes the right of the
    people to alter or abolish and reconstruct their government.
    If sovereignty resides with the people and not with the
    organization, it rests as well with the people of a territory, in
    all that concerns their internal condition, as with the people of
    an organized State. And if it is the right of the people, by
    virtue of their innate sovereignty, to 'alter or abolish,' and
    reconstruct their government, it is the right of the inhabitants
    of territories, by virtue of the same attribute, in all that
    appertains to their domestic concerns, to fashion one suited to
    their condition. And it, in this respect, a form of government
    is proposed to them by the Federal Government, and adopted or
    acquiesced in by them, they may afterward alter or abolish it at
    pleasure. Although the government of a territory has not the same
    sovereign power as the government of a State in its political
    relations, the people of a territory have, in all that appertains
    to their internal condition, the same sovereign rights as the
    people of a State....

    "That system of government, whether temporary or permanent,
    whether applied to States, provinces, or territories, is radically
    wrong, and has within itself all the elements of monarchical
    oppression, which permits the representatives of one community to
    legislate for the domestic regulation of another to which they are
    not responsible, which practically allows New York and
    Massachusetts, and other Atlantic States, to give local laws to
    the people of Oregon, Minnesota and Nebraska, to whom and whose
    interests, wishes and condition, they are strangers."

The following extracts from a campaign speech in 1856, of Mr.
Dickinson, will give the reader some idea of his wit and power before
an out-door audience. He is speaking of the Pennsylvania election:

    "In Pennsylvania every ill-omened bird in the nation had gathered
    and croaked. Every device that those bent on evil could conceive
    had been resorted to. Money had been spent with a lavish hand. All
    this had been done in order to induce the people of that State to
    favor the doctrines of the so-called Republican party. How well
    had she stood the test in the last great fight! There, fanaticism
    had been rebuked, hypocrisy had been unmasked, and villainy
    discomfited. The Democratic candidates had been placed in the
    field, and that being the home of Mr. Buchanan, the Republicans
    had strained every nerve to defeat him there. But how gallantly
    had old Pennsylvania come up to the work--how glorious the result!
    How had they tried and judged that party--that political
    mermaid--half-colored woman and half-scaly fish! The result
    reminded him of a conference between Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Smith.
    Mrs. Jones, calling on Mrs. Smith, said, 'Why, haven't you
    finished your washing yet?' To which Mrs. Smith replied, 'Oh! no,
    dear, we have a very great washing; it takes us a whole week to do
    our washing, and I don't think we can get it done in a week!'
    'But, said Mrs. Jones, 'you haven't a _great_ many clothes-lines,
    and they are not _very_ long, and you don't seem to hang out any
    more clothes than other people! 'Oh, no,' replied Mrs. Smith; 'but
    then you know what we hang out is a very small portion of what we
    wash.' So it was with the Republicans of Pennsylvania. What they
    hung out on election day was in miserable proportion to the amount
    of washing they had done. Proceeding, he said that the Democrats
    had hung out their banners--their principles were those of the
    Constitution, and their candidates were upon them. The
    Republicans, on the contrary, had but few principles, and scarcely
    any candidates. The Democratic candidates represented the
    principles of the Democratic party. And now of the general issue
    between the parties.

    "What a spectacle! A slavery more base and abject than any African
    slavery that was ever dreamed of; an enslavement of white men, in
    order that their leaders may war against their brethren. How they
    would make up their dividend of profits he could not see. Their
    case would be similar to that of the man who thought he was going
    to get a great deal of money by his wife. She had often told him
    that when her father died, she would have considerable coming to
    her. Well, the old man died, and it turned out that he had left
    $9,000 and ten children. The husband tried to figure it up. He
    said, 10 from 9 you can't. He tried it again and said, 10 from 9
    you can't. Turning to his wife, and greatly perplexed, he said,
    'you told me that when the old man died, you would have something
    coming to you.' His wife replied that she had--that she had always
    understood her father had $9,000. 'So he has,' says the husband;
    'but then he's got ten children--and 10 from 9 you can't. We won't
    get a d----d cent.' So it would be with the Republicans. They had
    resorted to political huckstering, such as had never before been
    heard of. They had run through every issue, and had talked
    thread-bare every principle. Kansas was now their great hobby.
    They said they did not care so much about other issues. But
    Kansas--bleeding Kansas, absorbed their very souls. Kansas was to
    them what ale was to Boniface--it was meat, drink, washing and
    lodging. Now, though Kansas was an important section of the
    country, he did not think that it was worth while to upset the
    Government, whether slavery went there or not. The Democracy were
    willing to leave that question entirely with the people of that
    country. They had no fear from slavery there, even if it had all
    the evils pictured by the fanatics. New York could have slavery if
    it wished, so could all the other States, and all the Democracy
    wanted was that the people should do as they liked in the
    question, whether slavery should be there or no.

    "In any event, slavery was not so bad or so baneful in its
    influences as the trickery that had been resorted to in
    Pennsylvania, and by the so-called Republicans. But, Kansas,
    bleeding Kansas, they cry continually. Why, they had run poor,
    bleeding Kansas until it was as dry as a turnip. It was to them
    what the lamp was to Aladdin. When he wanted to raise the wind, he
    rubbed his lamp, and when the Republicans wanted blood, they cried
    'bleeding Kansas.' Kansas, to them, was like the Yankee's clock,
    that would strike whenever he told it to do so. But one day he
    told it to strike, and it didn't; he told it again, but still no
    strike. Finally, a voice was heard from behind the clock, saying,
    'I can't strike--the string's broke.' To this pass has it come at
    length with the Republicans and their poor 'bleeding Kansas! When
    they call for blood, the answer comes, 'The string's broke.'"

In a territorial speech in the United States Senate, January 12, 1848,
Mr. Dickinson said:

    "Our form of government is admirably adapted to extend empire.
    Founded in the virtue and intelligence of the people, and deriving
    its just powers from the consent of the governed, its influences
    are as powerful for good at the remotest limits as at the
    political centre.

    "We are unlike all communities which have gone before us, and
    illustrations drawn from comparing us with them, are unjust and
    erroneous. The social order which characterizes our system is as
    unlike the military republics of other times, as is the religion
    of the Saviour of men to the impositions of Mahomet. Our system
    wins by its justice, while theirs sought to terrify by its power.
    Our territorial boundary may span the continent, our population be
    quadrupled, and the number of our States be doubled, without
    inconvenience or danger. Every member of the Confederacy would
    well sustain itself and contribute its influences for the general
    good; every pillar would stand erect, and impart strength and
    beauty to the edifice. In matters of national legislation, a
    numerous population, extended territory, and diversified
    interests, would tend to reform abuses which would otherwise
    remain unredressed, to preserve the rights of the States, and to
    bring back the course of legislation from the centralism to which
    it is hastening. One-half the legislation now brought before
    Congress would be left undone, as it should be; a large portion of
    the residue would be presented to the consideration of State
    legislatures, and Congress would be enabled to dispose of all
    matters within the scope of its legitimate functions without
    inconvenience or delay.

    "The present political relations of this continent cannot long
    continue, and it becomes this nation to be prepared for the change
    which awaits it. If the subjects of the British crown shall
    consent to be ruled through all time by a distant cabinet, Mexico
    cannot long exist under the misrule of marauders and their
    pronunciamentos, and this was as clearly apparent before as since
    the existence of the war. If then, just acquisition is the true
    policy of this Government, as it clearly is, it should be pursued
    by a steady and unyielding purpose, and characterized by the
    sternest principles of national justice. It should not rashly
    anticipate the great results which are in progress, nor thrust
    aside the fruits when they are produced and presented. The
    national existence of Mexico is in her own keeping, but is more
    endangered at this time by her own imbecility and
    stubbornness--her national ignorance and brutality--than from the
    war we are prosecuting and all its consequences. She has been
    hastening to ruin for years upon the flood-tide of profligacy and
    corruption; and if she is now rescued, and her downfall arrested
    and postponed for a season, it may justly be attributed to the
    salutary influences of the chastisement she has received."

These general ideas upon the subject of territorial acquisition will
indicate Mr. Dickinson's views upon the Cuban and Mexican questions of


John Bell is a man of the old school in politics, an ancient southern
Whig, who has preserved his whiggery intact, and has not been
swallowed up in the Democratic party, but has rather sympathized to a
great extent with the party in the North which has taken the place of
the old Whig organization--the Republican party. Coming from a slave
State, and himself a slaveholder, of course Mr. Bell does not belong
to the Republican organization. He could not well do so without
occupying an anti-slavery attitude in Tennessee. But he has acted in
concert with the Republicans on most issues in Congress, and upon many
of the issues which slavery has raised, he has taken sides with the
North. In this manner he has gained the respect of his colleagues who
go further than he does in opposition to slavery.

John Bell is an honest, upright man, and has been for years one of the
ablest members of the U.S. Senate. He has evinced the highest courage
in taking his stand against measures which were either proposed by
politicians from his own section of the country, or were expected to
inure to the benefit of that section. He came out boldly against the
repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and the Kansas-Nebraska act,
although in doing so he exposed himself at home, among his
constituents, to the raking fire of his political enemies. He also
opposed with great eloquence and vigor the Lecompton bill. For a
southern senator to do these things requires pluck as well as
principle, and we may be sure that John Bell lacks neither. His
enemies will give him credit for both.

In his personal appearance in the Senate, Mr. Bell is noticeable.
Though his hair is grey, the fire of his eye is undimmed, and the
freshness of his countenance is youthful. Few men in the Senate speak
so vigorously as he. His voice is sonorous and loud, and the energy of
his tone, his style, and his gesticulation remind one of an orator of
thirty. We remember very well how during the Lecompton debate in the
Senate, Mr. Johnson, Bell's Democratic colleague, was replying with
great severity to his speech against the Lecompton bill. A portion of
his remarks were very personal, and must have somewhat irritated the
brave old senator. Johnson was fresh from the stump, and its phrases
and language were so beaten into his mind that he could not shake them
off. So, frequently in the course of his speech in alluding to Mr.
Bell, instead of saying "my colleague," he said "my _competitor_."
This was done several times, when Mr. Bell half-rose in his seat, his
face flushed red with his indignation, and hurled out at his
colleague, "_Competitor! I am not the gentleman's competitor!_" No one
who witnessed the scene will ever forget it. The Senate was convulsed
with laughter.

Mr. Bell was born near Nashville, Tennessee, in February, 1797; his
father being a farmer in moderate circumstances. He--the son--was
educated at what is now Nashville University--afterward studied law,
and was admitted to the bar in 1816. He then settled down in Franklin,
Tennessee, from which place he was elected to the State Senate, in
1817, he then being but twenty years old. During the next nine years
he forsook politics and confined himself to his profession, but in
1826 he ran for Congress, in opposition to Felix Grundy. He had the
support of General Jackson, and triumphed by one thousand majority.
The canvass was long and exciting, and Mr. Bell was justly proud of
his victory. For fourteen consecutive years he remained in the House
of Representatives from this district. When first elected he was a
follower of Calhoun and an opponent of a Protective Tariff. He
afterward, by reading and argument, saw fit to change his position in
this respect, and has long been known as an advocate of the old Whig
tenets--a high tariff, internal improvements, etc. etc. He was for ten
years in the House, chairman of the committee on Indian Affairs, was
once chairman of the Judiciary committee. The breach between himself
and Jackson was on the question of the removal of the deposits, and
the result was that Mr. Bell went over to the Whigs. In 1834, he was
made Speaker of the House of Representatives, his opponent being James
K. Polk. The Whigs and a wing of the Democrats who disliked Van Buren
voted for Mr. Bell, and elected him. Mr. Bell opposed Mr. Van Buren
for removing men from office on account of their politics, and he made
a strong speech in the House against this policy. He refused to
support Van Buren for the presidency and went in for Judge White, who
carried the State of Tennessee. Mr. Bell was afterward reëlected to
Congress from the Hermitage district, showing that the people even in
Jackson's district supported him in the position he had taken. It was
at this time that he had the courage to vote _in favor_ of receiving
anti-slavery politicians, when many northern politicians voted to
strike down this right of the people under the most despotic forms of
government. He also voted _against_ Atherton's famous Gag Resolutions.
In 1841, Gen. Harrison made him Secretary of War, but he resigned when
Tyler came into power. He was soon elected to the United States
Senate, where he remained till March 4th, 1859.

Mr. Bell supported the compromise measures of 1850--was opposed to the
annexation of Texas--and, as we have remarked, opposed the
Kansas-Nebraska act and the Lecompton Constitution. He is opposed to
the _taking_ of Cuba or buying it at an extravagant price--opposes all
kinds of filibustering. We make a few extracts from Mr. Bell's great
speech against the Lecompton bill. Upon Popular Sovereignty he thus
expressed himself:

    "What is the true doctrine on this subject? I had supposed that
    there could be no disagreement as to the true principles connected
    with the rights and powers of the people in forming a State
    Constitution; but since I have heard the speech of the senator
    from Georgia, I do not know what principle he agrees to. I say
    that in no disrespect; but I thought he was particularly wild,
    shooting _extra flammantia mænia mundi_, on those high points of
    doctrine which he, in some parts of his speech, thought proper to
    enunciate. Does any person here deny the proposition, that the
    people of a territory, in the formation of a State Constitution,
    are to that extent--_quoad hoc_--sovereign and uncontrollable,
    though still owing obedience to the provisional government of
    the territory? Will any senator contend that the territorial
    legislature can either give to the people any power over that
    subject which they did not possess before, or withhold from them
    any which they did possess? The territorial legislature cannot
    dictate any one provision of the constitution which the people
    think proper to form. Who is prepared to contend that Congress can
    do anything more in this respect than a territorial legislature?
    It is usual for the territorial legislature, when the people
    desire to apply for admission into the Union, in the absence of an
    enabling act of Congress, to pass a law providing for the
    assembling of a convention to form a State Constitution. But that
    is a mere usage, resorted to when Congress has not thought proper
    to pass what is called an enabling act. What is an enabling act?
    Nothing more than to signify to the people of a territory, that if
    they shall think proper to meet in convention and form a State
    Constitution, in compliance with certain forms therein prescribed,
    to insure a fair expression of the people's will, Congress is
    prepared to admit them into the Union as a State.

    "But such an act gives no more power to the people over the
    subject of a constitution than an act of a territorial
    legislature. But, suppose the people, either under an act of the
    territorial legislature or of Congress, meet in convention, by
    delegates chosen by the people, and form a constitution, what
    then? Has it any vitality as a constitution? Does it transform the
    territory into a State? Has it any binding force or effect, either
    upon individuals or upon the community? Nobody pretends that it
    has any such force. It is only after the acceptance of the
    constitution, and the admission of the territory into the Union as
    a State, that there is any vigor or validity in a constitution so
    formed. Before that time, it is worth no more than the parchment
    on which its provisions are written, so far as any legal or
    constitutional validity is concerned.

    "But, upon principle, the people of a territory, without any act
    of the territorial legislature, without an enabling act of
    Congress, can hold public meetings and elect delegates to meet in
    convention for the purpose of forming a constitution; and when
    formed, it has all the essential attributes of a valid
    constitution, as one formed in any other way. Many senators
    contend that it is the inalienable and indefeasible right of the
    people of a State at all times to change their constitution in any
    manner they think proper. This doctrine I do not admit, in regard
    to the people of a State; but, in reference to the formation of a
    constitution by the people of a territory, there can be no
    question as to the soundness of this doctrine. They can form a
    constitution by delegates voluntarily chosen and sent to a
    convention, but what is it worth when it is formed? Nothing at
    all, until Congress shall accept it and admit the territory into
    the Union as a State under that constitution. It is worth no more
    in that case than in the case of a constitution formed under a
    territorial act or an act of Congress; but it is worth just as

Upon the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and the effects which
followed the act, he remarked:

    "Four years ago, when it was proposed to repeal the Missouri
    Compromise--to adopt the principle of non-intervention, and
    concede to the people of the territories the right to settle the
    question of slavery in their own way--it was said by the advocates
    of the measure, that, as soon as the principles of it came to be
    understood, all agitation and discussion upon the subject of
    slavery in the territories would be localized--excluded from
    Congress--and the country would be left in undisturbed repose. So
    boldly and confidently were these views maintained, that the whole
    southern delegation in Congress, Whigs and Democrats, with seven
    or eight exceptions, together with many Democrats from the free
    States, came into the support of the measure. How were these bold
    predictions verified? In less than one month of the time during
    which the Kansas-Nebraska bill was pending in Congress, nearly the
    whole North was in a flame of resentment and opposition. Old men,
    of high character and great influence, who had for twenty years
    opposed the policy and designs of the Abolition faction in the
    North, suddenly became its allies and coadjutors. Thousands of the
    best citizens at the North, who had exerted all their energies to
    repress all opposition to the execution of the Fugitive Slave law
    of 1850, became suddenly converts to Free-Soilism. The religious
    feelings of whole communities became frenzied. The pulpit was
    converted into an engine of anti-slavery propagandism, and
    hundreds of thousands of sober-minded and conservative people at
    the North, who had never countenanced sectional strife on the
    subject of slavery, evinced that they had thrown off their
    conservatism, and were ready to array themselves under the banner
    of any party leader or faction, to check the progress of the South
    in what they considered its aggressive policy.

    "After that demonstration of opposition at the North, but little
    more was said in debate of the tranquillizing character of the
    measure. But its most influential supporters from the South,
    becoming inflamed and irritated by the fierce invectives with
    which the measure was assailed, both within and out of Congress,
    became, in their turn, reckless (apparently at least) of all
    consequences, and seemed only bent on victory--on obtaining a
    triumph by passing the bill! It was in vain that they were
    admonished that they were adding largely to the abolition faction
    at the North; that they were increasing the free-soil element of
    political power in that section. They admitted no distinction
    between Abolitionists and Free-Soilers, and denounced all at the
    North who opposed the bill as Abolitionists and foes to the South.
    Some gentlemen declared that the screams of the Abolitionists were
    music to their ears. It was idle to warn men in such a tempest of
    passion, that, instead of sowing the seeds of peace, as they had
    promised, they were sowing dragons' teeth, that would spring up
    armed men. So intense did the feeling become on the subject, that
    some southern members of Congress, who had gone into the support
    of the bill on the idea that the Missouri restriction act was a
    violation of the treaty with France, and who would not have
    listened for a moment to the admission of aliens to the right of
    suffrage in the territories, lost sight of these views under the
    influence of the furor that was gotten up among the friends as
    well as the opponents of the measure; and they became even more
    determined champions of the bill when these grounds of their
    original adhesion were entirely swept away--one by the rejection
    of the Clayton amendment, and the other by the Badger
    proviso--than they were at the outset.

    "There were, however, a few of the supporters of the bill who to
    the last contended that the intemperate demonstrations of
    opposition at the North were but the ebullitions of temporary
    excitement, which would subside as soon as the equitable and just
    principles of the bill should be exhibited in their practical
    operation in Kansas. On what flimsy grounds that delusion was
    indulged, and how soon and under what circumstances it vanished, I
    need not recount. The recollection of every patriot must still be
    painfully impressed with them. It is enough to say, that soon
    after these principles were put in operation in Kansas, disorder,
    anarchy, and civil war, ensued in rapid succession. It required
    the strong arm of the government of the United States and the
    interposition of the military force to sustain the territorial
    government; and even now, after the lapse of four years, we still
    find that the presence of a military force is necessary to
    maintain peace. So much for the effect of that measure on Kansas
    and the country. How has it been in Congress? Need I ask that
    question? Has not the subject of slavery in the territory been the
    absorbing subject of our thoughts and discussions at every session
    of Congress since the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska act? And as
    for the character and temper of the debates upon this subject,
    have they not, in asperity and fierceness, far exceeded those of
    any antecedent period of our history?

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "I now ask the attention of the Senate to the effect of the
    experiment of localizing slavery agitation in the territories,
    made in 1854, in changing the complexion of parties both in
    Congress and in the country. In the Congress which passed the
    Kansas-Nebraska bill, we have seen that there was at the
    commencement of the session, in December, 1853, a Democratic
    majority of eighty-four in the House of Representatives, and only
    four Free-Soilers, and in the Senate a like number--so small, yet
    so distinct in their principles, that neither of the two great
    parties then known to the country knew well how to arrange them on

    "MR. HALE.--You left them off.

    "MR. BELL.--The Whigs were afraid to touch them. Mr. Chase was a
    Democrat, and was so recognized by his brethren in the Senate, and
    was taken care of by them in arranging the committees; yet he was
    one of the gentlemen whom I have designated as Free-Soilers. Now,
    let us see what was the effect of the Kansas-Nebraska act on the
    elections which ensued in the fall of 1854, just on the heels of
    the adoption of that measure. One hundred and seven Free-Soilers
    were returned to the House of Representatives, and the Democratic
    party, instead of having a majority of eighty-four in that House,
    found itself in a minority of seventy-six; and in the Senate the
    number of Free-Soilers was increased to thirteen. Such was the
    complexion of the two houses of Congress in the 33d Congress,
    which assembled in December, 1855. Now, we find in the Senate
    twenty Free-Soilers. How many more they may have in the next
    Congress, will depend upon the disposition we make of the question
    _now before the Senate_. I call upon the senator from Georgia to
    say whether he will have that number limited or not. Does he want
    a sufficient number to prevent the ratification of any future
    treaty of acquisition? How long will it be before we have that
    number, if the southern Democracy persist in their present course?
    They would seem to be deeply interested in adding to the power of
    the Republican party.

    "I consider that the most fearful and portentous of all the
    results of the Kansas-Nebraska act was to create, to build up a
    great sectional party. My friend from Ohio, who sits near me, [Mr.
    Wade] must allow me to say, that I regard his party as a sectional

    "MR. WADE.--Is not the other side a sectional party?

    "MR. BELL.--So far as they are confined to the South they are, but
    they say that they lap over.

    "MR. WADE.--Lap over further South still.

    "MR. BELL.--I consider that no more ominous and threatening cloud
    can darken the political horizon at any time. How formidable this
    party has already become, may be well illustrated by the fact that
    its representative candidate, Mr. Fremont, was only beaten in the
    last Presidential election by the most desperate efforts; and I
    feel warranted in saying, that but for the imminent prospect of
    his success, which shone out near the close of the canvass, Mr.
    Buchanan would not have attained his present high position."

From these extracts the reader will readily perceive the position of
Mr. Bell upon the great political question of the day.


John P. Hale comes of good old New England stock. His ancestors were
the men who founded those New England institutions which are alike the
glory of that section of the country and the whole nation. The
grandfather of Mr. Hale--Samuel Hale--was a lawyer of ability and
success, and he educated his son John--father of the present Mr.
Hale--to the same profession. The father of Mr. Hale married a Miss
O'Brien, daughter of Capt. Jeremiah O'Brien. Of this ancestor Mr. Hale
is justly proud. The following true story is told of his gallantry at
the beginning of the Revolutionary War:

    "When the news of the struggle with the mother country reached
    Machias, in Maine (then a province of Massachusetts), on the 9th
    of May, 1775, an armed British schooner, the Margaretta, was lying
    in port, with two sloops under her convoy, loading with lumber in
    behalf of the king's government. An attempt was made to capture
    the officers of the Margaretta while they were at church, but they
    escaped on board, weighed anchor, and dropped down the river. On
    the 11th, a party of thirty-five volunteers was hastily collected,
    and, taking one of the lumber sloops, they made sail. The
    Margaretta, on observing their appearance, weighed and crowded
    sail, to avoid a conflict; the sloop proved to be a better sailor.
    As she approached, the schooner opened a fire with four light guns
    and fourteen swivels, to which the sloop replied with musketry,
    and soon the Americans boarded and captured the Margaretta. The
    loss of life in this affair was not very large, though twenty men
    on both sides are said to have been killed and wounded. It was the
    first blow struck on the water in the Revolutionary struggle, and
    it was characterized by a long chase, a bloody struggle, and a

    "There was originally no commander in the sloop, but previously to
    engaging the Margaretta, Jeremiah O'Brien was selected for that
    station. Transferring the armament to a sloop, he engaged
    separately, and captured two English cruisers sent out from
    Halifax expressly to take him, and carried their crews as
    prisoners to Watertown, where the provincial Legislature of
    Massachusetts was assembled. His gallantry was so generally
    admired, that he was appointed a captain in the marine of the
    colony, and afterward distinguished himself as a continental
    officer. Two of his brothers, uncles of Mrs. John P. Hale, senior,
    were also noted for their nautical bravery."

Mr. Hale, the subject of this sketch, was born on the 31st of March,
1806, at Rochester, New Hampshire. When a boy he, like most New
England boys, attended the common district school of his neighborhood.
When he grew up to be a young man, he was sent to Phillips Academy, at
Exeter, where the well-known Dr. Abbott also educated Daniel Webster,
Edward Everett, Lewis Cass and other distinguished men. In September,
1823, Mr. Hale entered Bowdoin College, and graduated with high honors
in 1827. Among his associates in college were Hawthorne, Longfellow,
Franklin Pierce, Prof. Stone, and S. S. Prentiss. In 1828, Mr. Hale
selected his home, the town of Dover, where he now resides. There he
went to study law in the office of D. M. Christie. He was admitted to
the bar in 1830, and in 1834 his clients had become so numerous that
he was obliged to take a partner. He was never so distinguished as a
law-_student_, as for his popular argument with a jury. His forte was
then, as now, in appealing directly to the hearts of men. By common
sense, humor, pathos and sarcasm he won his cause. Mr. Hale was, we
presume, a little more inclined to politics than to law, and if we may
judge at all from his looks to-day, he was never over-fond of severe
application, mental or physical, to labor.

In 1832, Mr. Hale was elected to represent Dover in the New Hampshire
Legislature, and was a staunch Democrat. In 1834, General Jackson
appointed him U.S. Attorney for the district of New Hampshire, an
office which he filled creditably to himself. Mr. Van Buren continued
him in this office, and he filled it till John Tyler removed him. This
was a turning point in his history. He fell back to his old practice
of the law; but in 1843, he was nominated and elected to Congress, to
take his seat in the House of Representatives. A struggle was at that
time beginning between the North and the South, and Mr. Hale,
apparently to his certain defeat and humiliation, for New Hampshire
was then overwhelmingly Democratic, took side with the North and
freedom. He was renominated for Congress, but soon afterward he had
the courage to come out in a letter denouncing the annexation of
Texas. This, as a matter of course, brought down upon him the enmity
of his old companions. The State Democratic Committee called a new
convention in his district, set his nomination aside, and nominated
John Woodbury in his place. It was at this juncture that Mr. Hale
showed his nerve, and it is said that his spirited wife sustained him
through the campaign with a courage and spirit second only to his own.
Suffice it to say, that after an arduous campaign, Mr. Hale triumphed
so far as to prevent his competitor from being elected. A majority was
required to elect, and no candidate could get that majority. The next
year Mr. Hale was sent again to the State Legislature to represent the
town of Dover, and he was chosen Speaker of the House of
Representatives. He presided so fairly and won so much upon the
members, that before the adjournment took place, the Legislature
elected Mr. Hale to represent the State, in part, for six years in the
United States Senate! This was a great triumph. The man who had been
set aside for his faithfulness to his own convictions of right, by
party managers, was taken up by the State at large, and sent to
represent New Hampshire in the Senate of the United States. His new
position was an extraordinary one. He was about to take his seat in
the Senate backed by no party, utterly alone, sent there for his
individual merits, and not to advance the interests of any party.

A writer not agreeing or sympathizing with Mr. Hale in his peculiar
anti-slavery views, speaks of this period of Mr. Hale's history in the
following language:

"When Mr. Hale took his seat he was almost alone, and had to combat,
single-handed, the political 'giants in those days.' Sometimes he was
met with labored arguments, then subjected to bitter reproaches; at
times those who were but 'his peers' would affect almost to ignore his
presence, and again they would mercilessly denounce him as advocating
doctrines dangerous to the liberties of the Republic. But the senator
from New Hampshire was not to be intimidated or diverted from what he
considered to be his duty. Adopting the _guerrilla_ tactics, he
manfully held his ground, and with felicitous humor, pungent retort,
or keen sarcasm, made an impression upon the phalanx against which he
had to contend. So high were his aims, and so conciliating were his
manners, that before the close of his senatorial term, Mr. Hale had
beaten down the barriers of prejudice, and fairly conquered sectional
discourtesy. He was thus not only the standard-bearer, but the pioneer
of the North in the Senate."

In 1853, the Democracy were in the ascendency in New Hampshire, and
Mr. Atherton took Mr. Hale's seat in the Senate. Mr. Hale was
persuaded at this time to locate himself in the city of New York, to
practise his profession. Luckily, he did not give up his house at
Dover, his family remaining there, and he paying his poll tax there.

In 1855, he was again elected to serve New Hampshire for an unexpired
term; and in 1859, was reëlected for another whole term of six years.
The same writer from whom we have just quoted, remarks further:

"Senator Hale is especially attentive to his constituents, and never
neglects their interests for practice in the Supreme Court or other
private business. He is, nevertheless, ever ready to address public
assemblages on subjects in which he takes an interest. The sailors
will never forget his efforts in procuring an abolition of flogging in
the United States navy, in commemoration of which they presented him
with a gold medal.

"From the commencement of Senator Hale's career up to the present
time, he has been the untiring advocate of whatever he viewed as
powerful for good, as calculated to meliorate the condition of man, or
as likely to advance the general interests of the American Union,
without prejudice to the rights of the section which he represents. He
has ever firmly refused to bow before counterfeited images, or to
scramble for place in the arena of party, but he has never declined to
assume whatever burden of duty his friends counselled him to bear.

"In person, Senator Hale is burly, bluff-looking, with a clear eye,
and a hearty grasp of the hand for his friends. His colloquial powers
are of a splendid order, and he is a rare humorist, genial, sunshiny
and kindly. He laughs with the foibles and shortcomings of the
world--not at them; and his laugh is pure and silvery. Married in
early life to Miss Lucy H. Lambert, of Berwick, Maine (a lady who
combines rare attainments of mind, beauties of character, and personal
charms), he has ever found his highest happiness in his own domestic
circle, which is now graced by two accomplished daughters, just
budding into womanhood. An evening spent with this estimable family is
an event to be remembered with pleasure."

Mr. Hale has long been a favorite in the Senate with men of all
parties. Whenever it is known beforehand that he is going to speak--no
matter what the subject may be--he is sure to gather a crowded
audience. He is one of the most popular men in the country, for his
satire has never a spice of cruelty in it. His jolly humor,
everlasting good nature, and natural love of fair play, make him
friends wherever he is, no matter if he be among his bitterest
southern enemies.

To gain any idea of the change which has taken place in the Senate
since Mr. Hale took his seat in it, we must remember that then he
stood up _alone_ the champion of anti-slavery--unless we make an
exception in favor of Mr. Seward--while now more than twenty
Republican senators sit with him on the "opposition benches." To get a
faint idea of the condition of the Senate when Mr. Hale entered it,
let us go back to the 20th of April, 1845. The famous Drayton and
Soyers slave case had just occurred, and Dr. Bailey and his paper, the
"National Era," had been at the mercy of a mob for three days. Mr.
Hale introduced into the Senate a bill relating to riots and unlawful
assemblages in the District of Columbia. We will abridge the debate
which ensued:

Mr. Foote, of Miss., made a very long speech on the general subject of
slavery, and especially slavery in the District of Columbia. The
attempt to legislate indirectly--that is, to sustain freedom of
discussion in the District--against slavery, was an outrage upon the
rights of the South. If any man gives countenance to this bill, he
said, I pronounce him to be no gentleman--he would, upon temptation,
be guilty of highway robbery on any of the roads of the Union. He
charged that the abduction of the Drayton-Soyer slaves was instigated
or countenanced by a member of the United States Senate--meaning Mr.
Hale. This bill is intended to cover negro-robbery. The New Hampshire
senator is endeavoring to get up civil war and insurrection. Let him
go South. Let him visit the good State of Mississippi. I invite him
there, and will tell him beforehand, in all honesty, _that he could
not go ten miles into the interior before he would grace one of the
tallest trees of the forest, with a rope around his neck, and if
necessary_, I should myself assist in the operation!

MR. HALE.--I did not anticipate this discussion, yet I do not regret
it. Before proceeding further, let me say that the statement that I
have given the slightest countenance to the recent "kidnapping of
slaves is false."

MR. FOOTE.--It had been stated so to me and I believed it. I am glad
to hear the senator say he had no connection with the movement--some
of his brethren doubtless had.

MR. HALE.--The sneer of the gentleman does not affect me. While I am
up, let me call the attention of the Senate to a man, who I am proud
to call my friend, the editor of the "National Era." Mr. Hale read a
card of Dr. Bailey's in the "Intelligencer," declaring his entire
ignorance of the abduction of the slaves till they were returned.

MR. CALHOUN.--Does he make denunciation of the robbery?

MR. HALE.--He had quite enough to do in defending himself, and it was
no part of his duty to denounce others.

MR. CALHOUN.--I understand that.

Mr. Hale went on to refer to Mr. Foote's invitation of hanging in
Mississippi, and would, in return for the hospitality, invite the
senator to come to New Hampshire to discuss this whole subject, and he
would there promise him protection and rights. He defended his bill as
containing simply the plainest provisions of the common law; yet the
South Carolina senator was shocked at his temerity.

MR. BUTLER.--Will the senator vote for a bill, properly drawn,
inflicting punishment on persons inveigling slaves from the District
of Columbia?

MR. HALE.--Certainly not; and why? Because I do not believe slavery
should exist here.

MR. CALHOUN.--He wishes to arm the robbers and disarm the people of
the district.... I will take this occasion to say, that I would just
as soon argue with a maniac from Bedlam as with the senator from New

Mr. Hale went on calmly to reply to all these personalities by
defending his bill. Mr. Foote again got the floor, and began to defend
his threat of assassination. He never deplored the death of such men.
The senator from New Hampshire will never be a victim. He is one of
those gusty declaimers--a windy speaker--a----

MR. CRITTENDEN.--I call the gentleman to order--and Mr. Foote was
called to order by the presiding officer.

Later in the day, Mr. Douglas rose and congratulated Mr. Hale on the
triumph he had achieved. The debate would give him ten thousand votes.
He could never have represented a State on that floor but for such
southern speeches as they had just listened to, breathing a fanaticism
as wild and reckless as that of the senator from New Hampshire.

MR. CALHOUN.--Does the gentleman pretend to call me and those who act
with me fanatics? We are only defending ourselves. The Illinois
senator partially apologized. Mr. Foote was restive, however, and said
that he must repeat his conviction, that any man who utters in the
South the sentiments of the New Hampshire senator, will meet with
death upon the scaffold--and deserves it.

MR. DOUGLAS.--I must again congratulate the senator from New Hampshire
upon the accession of five thousand more votes! and he is on for
honors? Who can believe that _now_ walks into the United States
Senate, that such things could have been within so few years?

It would be easy to fill this volume with extracts from exciting and
interesting debates in the Senate, in which Mr. Hale participated, but
we have room only for a few paragraphs, to show his style and manner.

Jan. 19 and 21, 1857, Mr. Hale delivered one of his longest and ablest
senatorial speeches upon Kansas and the Supreme Court. We subjoin a
few extracts:

    "I aver here that the object of the Nebraska bill was to break
    down the barrier which separated free territory from slave
    territory; to let slavery into Kansas, and make another slave
    state, legally and peacefully if you could, but a slave state
    anyhow. I gather that from the history of the times, from the
    character of the bill, from the measure, the great measure, the
    only measure of any consequence in the bill, which was the repeal
    of the Missouri restriction.

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "I say, then, sir, that the rule by which to judge of the intent,
    the object, the purpose of an act, is to see what the act is
    calculated to do, what its natural tendency is, what will in all
    human probability be the effect. Before the passage of the
    Kansas-Nebraska act, there stood upon your statute-book a law by
    which slavery was prohibited from going into any territory north
    of 36° 30'. The validity and constitutionality of that law had
    been recognized by repeated decisions of the courts of the several
    States. If I am not mistaken, I have a memorandum by me, showing
    that it had been recognized by the Supreme Court of the State of
    Louisiana. So far as I know, the constitutionality of that
    enactment was unquestioned, and the country had reposed in peace
    for more than a generation under its operation. By and by,
    however, it was discovered to be unconstitutional, and it was
    broken down. The instant it was broken down, slavery went into
    Kansas; but still, gentlemen tell us they did not intend to let
    slavery in; that was not the object. Let me illustrate this.
    Suppose a farmer has a rich field, and a pasture adjoining,
    separated by a stonewall which his fathers had erected there
    thirty years before. The wall keeps out the cattle in the pasture,
    who are exceedingly anxious to get into the field. Some modern
    reformer thinks that moral suasion will keep them in the pasture,
    even if the wall should be taken down, and he proceeds to take it
    down. The result is, that the cattle go right in; the experiment
    fails. The philosopher says; 'Do not blame me; that was not my
    intention; but it is true, the effect has followed.' I retort upon
    him; 'You knew the effect would follow; and, knowing that it would
    follow, you intended that it should follow.'

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "This brings me to another part of my subject, in answer to a
    question which the honorable senator from Illinois (Mr. Douglas)
    propounded, when he asked if he was to be read out of the party
    for a difference on this point. I have great regard for the
    sagacity of that honorable senator, but I confess it was a little
    shaken when he asked that question; is a man to be read out of the
    party for departing from the President on this great cardinal
    point? Why, sir, he asks, is a man who differs from the President
    on the Pacific railroad to go out of the party? Oh no, he may
    stay. If he differs on Central America, very good; take the first
    seat if you please. You may differ with the President on anything
    and everything but one, and that is this sentiment, which I shall
    read; Mr. Buchanan shall speak his own creed. On the 19th of
    August 1842, in the Senate, Mr. Buchanan used this language:

    "'I might here repeat what I have said on a former occasion'--(you
    see it was so important he must repeat it)--'that all
    Christendom'--(mark the words)--'is leagued against the South upon
    this question of domestic slavery.'

    "All Christendom includes a great many people. If that be true,
    and if you have got any allies, it is manifest they must be
    outside of Christendom, because Mr. Buchanan says all Christendom
    is against you; but still he leaves you some allies, and you will
    see--it is as plain as demonstration can make it--that your allies
    are not included in Christendom. Where are the allies? I will read
    the next sentence:

    "'They have no other allies to sustain their constitutional rights
    except the Democracy of the North.'

    "There is a fight for you: all Christendom on one side, and the
    Democracy of the North on the other. That is not my version; it is
    Mr. Buchanan's. That is the way he backs his friends; for he went
    on, after having made this avowal, to claim peculiar consideration
    from southern gentlemen, and intimated that he might speak a
    little more freely, having previously indorsed them so highly as
    this. Well, sir, when all Christendom was on one side, and the
    Democracy of the North on the other, and the Democracy of the
    North growing less and less every day--a small minority in the New
    England States--how could the senator from Illinois be so unkind,
    or how could he doubt, if on this vital question he deserted the
    Democracy and went over to Christendom, as to how the question
    would be answered whether he was to be read out of the party? Read
    out, sir. That question was settled long ago. On this great vital
    question he is out of the party.

    "I would not say anything unkind to that senator, nor would I say
    anything uncourteous in the world; but my experience in the
    country life of New England does present to my mind an
    illustration which I know he will excuse me if I give it. A
    neighbor of mine had a very valuable horse. The horse was taken
    sick, and he tried all the ways in the world to cure him, but it
    was of no avail. The horse grew worse daily. At last, one of his
    neighbors said: 'What are you going to do with the horse?' 'I do
    not know,' was the reply; 'but I think I shall have to kill him.'
    'Well,' said the other, 'he does not want much killing.' You see,
    in ordinary times, and on ordinary questions, a little wavering
    might be indulged; but when it is on one question, and a great
    vital question, and all Christendom is on the one side, and the
    northern Democracy on the other, to go over from the ranks of the
    Democracy to swell the swollen ranks of Christendom, and then ask
    if he is to be read out!

    "This omission to submit the constitution to the people of Kansas
    is not accidental. I am sorry to find, as I have found out this
    session, that the omission to put it in the original bill was not
    accidental. We have a little light on this subject from a
    gentleman who always sheds light when he speaks to the Senate--I
    mean the honorable senator from Pennsylvania [Mr. Bigler]. He says
    that this was not accidental, by any means. He has spoken once or
    twice about a meeting that was held in the private parlor of a
    private gentleman. There was a good deal of inquiry and anxiety to
    know what sort of a meeting that was. The gentleman who owns the
    house said he did not know anything about it. That is not strange.
    The hospitable man let his guests have the use of any room they
    chose. The honorable senator from Pennsylvania said this meeting
    was 'semi-official.' I do not know what kind of a meeting that
    was. I have heard of a semi-barbarous, a semi-civilized, and a
    semi-savage people; I have heard of a semi-annual, and
    semi-weekly; but when you come to semi-official, I declare it
    bothers me. What sort of a meeting was it? Was it an official
    meeting? No. Was it an unofficial meeting? No. What was it?

    "I have never met anything analogous to it but once in my life,
    and that I will mention by way of illustration. A trader in my
    town, before the day of railroads, had taken a large bank bill,
    and he was a little doubtful whether it was genuine or not. He
    concluded to give it to the stage driver, and send it down to the
    bank to inquire of the cashier whether it was a genuine bill. The
    driver took it, and promised to attend to it. He went down the
    first day, but he had so many other errands that he forgot it, and
    he said he would certainly attend to it the next day. The next day
    he forgot it, and the third day he forgot it; but he said,
    'to-morrow I will do it, if I do nothing else; I will ascertain
    whether the bill is genuine or not.' He went the fourth day, with
    a like result; he forgot it; and when he came home, he saw the
    nervous, anxious trader, wanting to know whether it was genuine or
    not; and he was ashamed to tell him he had forgotten it, and he
    thought he would lie it through. Said the trader to him, 'Did you
    call at the bank?' 'Yes.' Did the cashier say it was a genuine
    bill?' 'No, he did not.' 'Did he say it was a bad one?' 'No.'
    'Well, what did he say?' 'He said it was about
    middling--semi-genuine.' I have never learned to this day whether
    that was a good or a bad bill. They used to say, in General
    Jackson's time, that he had a kitchen cabinet as well as a regular
    one. This could not be a meeting of the kitchen cabinet, because
    it sat in a parlor. It was semi-official in its character also."

The speech closes with the following language in reference to the Dred
Scott decision of the Supreme Court:

    "If the opinions of the Supreme Court are true, they put these men
    in the worst position of any men who are to be found on the pages
    of our history. If the opinion of the Supreme Court be true, it
    makes the immortal authors of the Declaration of Independence
    liars before God and hypocrites before the world; for they lay
    down their sentiments broad, full, and explicit, and then they say
    that they appeal to the Supreme Ruler of the universe for the
    rectitude of their intentions; but, if you believe the Supreme
    Court, they were merely quibbling on words. They went into the
    courts of the Most High, and pledged fidelity to their principles
    as the price they would pay for success; and now it is attempted
    to cheat them out of the poor boon of integrity; and it is said
    that they did not mean so; and that when they said all men, they
    meant all white men; and when they said that the contest they
    waged was for the right of mankind, the Supreme Court of the
    United States would have you believe that they meant it was to
    establish slavery. Against that I protest, here, now, and
    everywhere; and I tell the Supreme Court that these things are so
    impregnably fixed in the hearts of the people, on the page of
    history, in the recollections and traditions of men, that it will
    require mightier efforts than they have made or can make to
    overturn or to shake these settled convictions of the popular
    understanding and of the popular heart.

    "Sir, you are now proposing to carry out this Dred Scott decision
    by forcing upon the people of Kansas a constitution against which
    they have remonstrated, and to which, there can be no shadow of
    doubt, a very large portion of them are opposed. Will it succeed?
    I do not know; it is not for me to say, but I will say this, if
    you force that, if you persevere in that attempt, I think, I hope
    the men of Kansas will fight. I hope they will resist to blood and
    to death the attempt to force them to a submission against which
    their fathers contended, and to which they never would have
    submitted. Let me tell you, sir, I stand not here to use the
    language of intimidation or of menace; but you kindle the fires of
    civil war in that country by an attempt to force that constitution
    on the necks of an unwilling people; and you will light a fire
    that all Democracy cannot quench. Aye, sir, there will come up
    many another Peter the Hermit, that will go through the length and
    the breadth of this land, telling the story of your wrongs and
    your outrages; and they will stir the public heart; they will
    raise a feeling in this country such as has never yet been raised;
    and the men of this country will go forth, as they did of olden
    time, in another crusade; but it will not be a crusade to redeem
    the dead sepulchre where the body of the Crucified had lain from
    the profanation of the infidel, but to redeem this fair land,
    which God has given to be the abode of freemen, from the
    desecration of a despotism sought to be imposed upon them in the
    name of 'perfect freedom' and 'popular sovereignty!'"


Mr. Stephens, of Georgia, has for years been a leading character in
the politics of the country, and has been reckoned by all who know
him, or of his acts in Congress, as one of the first men which the
South has sent into public life. He is a native of Georgia, where he
was born in the year 1812. His grandfather, the Hon. Alexander
Stephens, was an Englishman and Jacobite, and came to this country
about the year 1746. He joined the American Colonial army--was present
at Braddock's defeat, and took a very active part in the Revolutionary
War, and settled down, after it was over, in Pennsylvania. In 1795, he
emigrated to Georgia, and finally settled down on the place now
occupied by his grandson--the subject of this sketch--in Taliaferro
County. He died on this place, in 1813, at the age of ninety-three.
The year before, young Alexander was born, his mother dying while he
was an infant. His father was comparatively poor, but was industrious
and virtuous, so that he maintained a high reputation in the town of
his birth. He died when Alexander was only fourteen years of age,
leaving each of his children a trifle over four hundred dollars as
their portion. Alexander was sickly and emaciated, and little was
hoped of him. He had attended a common school in the neighborhood, and
his uncle kept him still in attendance upon it. Of course this school
was a very inferior one, not at all equal to one of the common schools
of New England. But the boy learned enough there to excite his
ambition, and he made known his desire to gain a classical education.
He was without sufficient funds, but generous friends immediately came
forward and furnished him with all the money he needed, which he would
only accept as a loan. He now went to his studies alone, and in less
than a year, without a teacher, fitted himself for a freshman class,
and entered the Georgia University. After the usual four years'
course, he graduated with unusually high honors. Having been an
invalid since his birth, the severe application of his college course
left him in a state of great prostration, and he was obliged to leave
his studies and travel for his health. In May, 1834, he commenced the
study of the law, and he was soon admitted to the bar. His first
"case" was an action against a landlord for a stolen trunk--the trunk
being his own. He gained his case and trunk easily. The next was a
very important one. "A wealthy man was guardian of his grandchild, its
mother having married to a second husband. In course of time, the
mother desired possession of the child, which was resisted by the
grandfather, who claimed it as legal guardian. The step-father,
desiring to please his wife, came to young Stephens and engaged him as
counsel to set aside the guardianship, older lawyers declining on the
score of the hopelessness of the case, and perhaps a fear to encounter
the learned array of counsel engaged on the opposite side. The trial
came off before five judges, no jury being called. Owing to the
respectability of the parties, and the novel scene of a sickly boy,
without any legal practical experience, opposed to the most veteran
lawyers at the bar, the case attracted unusual attention. The result
was, that the guardianship was set aside, and the child was restored
to the possession of its mother, and young Stephens at once took a
prominent place at the bar, from that time, being engaged on one side
or the other of every important case that was tried in the county."

Mr. Stephens' success was now so marked that he was sought after to
remove to some prominent city, but he refused, preferring to remain
with his old friends, and he was in a few years able, out of his
earnings, to purchase his grandfather's estate, and settled upon it.
The subjoined political sketch of Mr. Stephens is by one of his
personal friends--Mr. Thorpe--and is in the main correct:

"In 1836, against his wishes, Mr. Stephens was run by his friends for
the legislature. On the Wednesday before the election he made his
first stump-speech--this was followed by another on Saturday, and
still another at the polls on election day. He was triumphantly
returned against a bitter opposition. He signalized his appearance as
a legislator in defence of the bill which proposed 'that Georgia
should launch out in certain internal improvements,' and in spite of
the formidable opposition, his speech probably saved the bill, and
thus inaugurated the commencement of the present prosperity of the
'Empire State of the South.' In the six years which he remained in the
legislature he took a most prominent part in all important matters,
particularly the one which proposed a change in the Constitution. The
instrument at the time in force said that it should only be amended by
a bill passed by two-thirds of each branch of the legislature at two
consecutive sessions.

"The difficulty seemed insurmountable, if opposition to a change
existed in either branch of the legislature, and the opponents of the
bill appeared to be impregnable. Stephens took the ground that when
the constitution is silent upon the mode of its amendment, then the
legislature can call a convention; that when a constitution points out
a particular mode in which it may be amended, without excluding other
modes, then the legislature may adopt some other mode than that
pointed out; but when a constitution provides a mode for its
amendment, and prohibits all other modes, then that mode only can be
taken which is provided for. Jenkins, Crawford, Howard, and others,
took the opposite side, opposed the bill, and voted for a convention;
the universal opinion was that the convention could be called, and the
convention was called by an overwhelming majority, which passed the
proper amendments, but they were never ratified by the people.

"As a member of the legislature, he opposed the organization of the
Court of Errors, believing that the judiciary as established was the
best in the world, and that the change would only multiply
difficulties, without gaining any additional certainty to the
administration of the law; the bill was not passed while Mr. Stephens
was in the legislature.

"In 1842, he went to the State Senate, opposed the Central Bank, and
took an active part in the questions of internal improvements and
districting the State, which then divided parties.

"In 1843, he was nominated for Congress, on a general ticket, and
commenced the canvass with a majority of two thousand votes against
him, and came out of the contest with thirty-five hundred majority;
and as he discussed on the stump matters entirely relating to local
interests, his eloquence and power undoubtedly carried the State. His
entry into Congress was signalized by extraordinary circumstances; his
right to a seat was denied. Stephens, in the discussion that ensued,
made a speech in favor of the power of Congress to district the
States, though he was elected in defiance of the law on a general
ticket, and then left the House to decide upon his claims. He was
permitted to take his seat.

"Up to this time Mr. Stephens was a prominent Whig, having been bred
in that school of States' rights men of the South who sustained
Harrison in 1840; but upon the question of the annexation of Texas
coming up, he favored that bill, and for the first time affiliated
with the Democracy. In the contest between Taylor and Cass, he
supported Taylor. On the compromises of 1850, he was willing to
support any measure that did away with Congressional restriction,
leaving the territories to come into the Union with or without
slavery. In the Mexican war, he stood beside Mr. Calhoun, and held
that the troops should not be advanced; but after the war commenced,
he sustained it with vigor.

"The guaranty that four slave States should be carved out of the
territory of Texas was secured mainly by Mr. Stephens' untiring labor
and foresight. In 1854, he advocated the Kansas bill, which declared
null and void the Missouri restriction, for the purpose of carrying
out the principle of 1850, advanced in the Utah and New Mexican bills.
The year 1855 was the most interesting and critical period of his
life, which he spent fighting the Know Nothing organization, in the
commencement of which he found all his early friends and associates
for the first time opposed to him. In the month of May, of this year,
he wrote his celebrated letter against the order, addressed to Col.
Thos. W. Thomas. The effect of it was overwhelming, not only in his
own State, but in Virginia and the adjoining States. His position was
sustained, and commencing with three thousand majority against him in
his own district, he came out of the contest with nearly three
thousand majority.

"When Mr. Stephens rises to speak there is a sort of electric
communication among the audience, as if something was about to be
uttered that was worth listening to. The loungers take their seats,
and the talkers become silent, thus paying an involuntary compliment
to Mr. Stephens' talents and high claims as a gentleman. At first his
voice is scarcely distinguishable, but in a few moments you are
surprised at its volume, and you are soon convinced that his lungs are
in perfect order, and as his ideas flow, you are not surprised at the
rapt attention he commands. His style of speaking is singularly
polished, but he conceals his art, and appears, to the superficial
observer, to be eloquent by inspiration. The leading characteristic of
his mind is great practical good sense, for his arguments are always
of the most solid and logical kind; hence his permanent influence as a
statesman, while his bright scintillations of wit, and profuse
adornment, secure him a constant popularity as an orator. Possessed of
a mind too great to be restrained by mere partisan influence, he has
therefore the widest possible field of action, at one time heading a
forlorn hope and leading it to victory, at another, giving grace and
character to a triumphant majority. Common as it is to impugn the
motives of many of our public servants, and charge them directly with
corruption, Mr. Stephens has escaped without even the taint of
suspicion, an inflexible honesty of purpose on his part, as a
governing principle, is awarded to him by his veriest political foe."

Mr. Stephens' position in Georgia, in reference to calling a
convention to frame a new constitution, is not very distinctly stated
by Mr. Thorpe. A bill was introduced into the legislature providing
for the calling of a convention to remodel the State constitution. Mr.
Stephens opposed the bill because the constitution, as it then stood,
provided that _only_ by a two-thirds vote of both branches of the
legislature, at two consecutive sessions, could any amendment be put
upon the constitution. Mr. Stephens argued that, under these
circumstances, it would be revolutionary to pass the bill calling a
convention. But the bill passed--and a convention submitted various
amendments to the people, all of which were repealed. Since then Mr.
Stephens' views have been generally adopted by the people of Georgia,
for the constitution has been amended in the mode pointed out in that
document itself. Since then, too, Mr. Stephens' position has been
sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dorr case.

We have noticed the fact that Mr. Stephens, when young and poor, was
furnished with the means to procure an excellent classical and legal
education. He repaid this money to the parties who so generously aided
him when help was of so much importance to his welfare. Not only this:
since he has himself been so successful, Mr. Stephens has been
constantly engaged in helping poor young men to an education. He has
carried _upward of thirty_ young men through a collegiate or academic
course within the last fifteen or twenty years, and has, in this way,
repaid the generosity of his friends to him. This single incident will
show what his character is for generosity.

Mr. Stephens is one of the most effective public speakers in the
country, whether it be in the court-room, the legislative hall, or
before the people. During the last Congress he was the leader of the
Democracy in the House of Representatives, and by his management
secured the admission of Oregon into the Union. Perhaps the finest
speech he ever made in Congress was the closing one in the Oregon
debate. We subjoin a few quotations.

One in reference to the anti-negro clause of the Oregon constitution:

    "And those who profess to be the exclusive friends of negroes, as
    they now do, so far as that constitution was concerned, voted to
    banish them forever from the State, just as Oregon has done.
    Whether this banishment be right or wrong, it is no worse in
    Oregon than it was in Kansas. But, on the score of humanity, we of
    the South do not believe that those who, in Kansas or Oregon,
    banish this race from their limits, are better friends of the
    negro than we are, who assign them that place among us to which by
    nature they are fitted, and in which they add so much more to
    their own happiness and comfort, besides to the common well-being
    of all. We give them a reception. We give them shelter. We clothe
    them. We feed them. We provide for their every want, in health and
    in sickness, in infancy and old age. We teach them to work. We
    educate them in the arts of civilization and the virtues of
    Christianity, much more effectually and successfully than you can
    ever do on the coasts of Africa. And, without any cost to the
    public, we render them useful to themselves and to the world. The
    first lesson in civilization and Christianity to be taught to the
    barbarous tribes, wherever to be found, is the first great curse
    against the human family--that in the sweat of their face they
    shall eat their bread. Under our system, our tuition, our
    guardianship and fostering care, these people, exciting so much
    misplaced philanthropy, have attained a higher degree of
    civilization than their race has attained anywhere else upon the
    face of the earth. The Topeka people excluded them; they, like the
    neighbors we read of, went round them; we, like the good
    Samaritans, shun not their destitution or degradation--we
    alleviate both. But let that go.

    "Oregon has, in this matter, done no worse than the gentleman's
    friends did in Kansas. _I think she acted unwisely in it_--that is
    her business, not mine. But the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Stanton]
    questions me, how could a negro in Oregon ever get his freedom
    under the constitution they have adopted? I tell him, under their
    constitution a slave cannot exist there. The fundamental law is
    against it. But, he asks, how could his freedom ever be
    established, as no free person of color can sue in her courts?
    Neither can they in Georgia; still our courts are open to this
    class of people, who appear by _prochein ami_ or guardian. Nor is
    there any great hardship in this; for married women cannot sue in
    their own names anywhere where the common law prevails. Minors
    also have to sue by guardian or next friend. We have suits
    continually in our tribunals by persons claiming to be free
    persons of color. They cannot sue in their own names, but by next
    friend. They are not citizens; we do not recognize them as such;
    but still the courts are open; and just so will they be in Oregon,
    if the question is ever raised."

The closing portions of the speech give such a good idea of the style
of Mr. Stephens' oratorical powers, that we must quote them:

    "Let us not do an indirect wrong, for fear that the recipient from
    our hands of what is properly due will turn upon us and injure us.
    Statesmen in the line of duty should never consult their fears.
    Where duty leads, there we may never fear to tread. In the
    political world, great events and changes are rapidly crowding
    upon us. To these we should not be insensible. As wise men, we
    should not attempt to ignore them. We need not close our eyes, and
    suppose the sun will cease to shine because we see not the light.
    Let us rather, with eyes and mind wide awake, look around us and
    see where we are, whence we have come, and where we shall soon be,
    borne along by the rapid, swift, and irresistible car of time.
    This immense territory to the west has to be peopled. It is now
    peopling. New States are fast growing up; and others, not yet in
    embryo, will soon spring into existence. Progress and development
    mark everything in nature--human societies, as well as everything
    else. Nothing in the physical world is still; life and motion are
    in everything; so in the mental, moral, and political. The earth
    is never still. The great central orb is ever moving. Progress is
    the universal law governing all things--animate as well as
    inanimate. Death itself is but the beginning of a new life in a
    new form. Our government and institutions are subject to this
    all-pervading power. The past wonderfully exemplifies its
    influence, and gives us some shadows of the future.

    "This is the sixteenth session that I have been here, and within
    that brief space of fifteen years, we have added six States to the
    Union--lacking but one of being more than half the original
    thirteen. Upward of twelve hundred thousand square miles of
    territory--a much larger area than was possessed by the whole
    United States at the time of the treaty of peace in 1783--have
    been added to our domain. At this time the area of our Republic is
    greater than that of any five of the greatest powers in Europe all
    combined; greater than that of the Roman empire in the brightest
    days of her glory; more extensive than were Alexander's dominions
    when he stood on the Indus, and wept that he had no more worlds to
    conquer. Such is our present position; nor are we yet at the end
    of our acquisitions.

    "Our internal movements, within the same time, have not been less
    active in progress and development than those external. A bare
    glance at these will suffice. Our tonnage, when I first came to
    Congress, was but a little over two million; now it is upward of
    five million, more than double. Our exports of domestic
    manufactures were only eleven million dollars in round numbers;
    now they are upward of thirty million. Our exports of domestic
    produce, staples, etc., were then under one hundred million
    dollars; now they are upward of three hundred million! The amount
    of coin in the United States, was at that time about one hundred
    million; now it exceeds three hundred million. The cotton crop
    then was but fifty-four million; now it is upward of one hundred
    and sixty million dollars. We had then not more than five thousand
    miles of railroad in operation; we have now not less than
    twenty-six thousand miles--more than enough to encircle the
    globe--and at a cost of more than one thousand million dollars. At
    that time, Prof. Morse was engaged in one of the rooms of this
    Capitol in experimenting on his unperfected idea of an electric
    telegraph--and there was as much doubt about his success, as there
    is at present about the Atlantic cable; but now there are more
    than thirty-five thousand miles in extent of these iron nerves
    sent forth in every direction through the land, connecting the
    most distant points, and uniting all together as if under the
    influence of a common living sensorium. This is but a glance at
    the surface; to enter within and take the range of other
    matters--schools, colleges, the arts, and various mechanical and
    industrial pursuits, which add to the intelligence, wealth and
    prosperity of a people, and mark their course in the history of
    nations, would require time; but in all would be found alike
    astonishing results.

    "This progress, sir, is not to be arrested. It will go on. The end
    is not yet. There are persons now living who will see over a
    hundred million human beings within the present boundaries of the
    United States, to say nothing of future extension, and perhaps
    double the number of States we now have, should the Union last.
    For myself, I say to you, my southern colleagues on this floor,
    that I do not apprehend danger to our constitutional rights from
    the bare fact of increasing the number of States with institutions
    dissimilar to ours. The whole governmental fabric of the United
    States is based and founded upon the idea of dissimilarity in the
    institutions of the respective members. Principles, not numbers,
    are our protection. When these fail, we have like all other
    people, who, knowing their rights, dare maintain them, nothing to
    rely upon but the justice of our cause, our own right arms and
    stout hearts. With these feelings and this basis of action,
    whenever any State comes and asks admission, as Oregon does, I am
    prepared to extend her the hand of welcome, without looking into
    her constitution further than to see that it is republican in
    form, upon our well-known American models.

    "When aggression comes, if come it ever shall, then the end
    draweth nigh. Then, if in my day, I shall be for resistance, open,
    bold, and defiant. I know of no allegiance superior to that due
    the hearthstones of the homestead. This I say to all. I lay no
    claim to any sentiment of nationality not founded upon the
    patriotism of a true heart, and I know of no such patriotism that
    does not centre at home. Like the enlarging circle upon the
    surface of smooth waters, however, this can and will, if
    unobstructed, extend to the utmost limits of a common country.
    Such is my nationality--such my sectionalism--such my patriotism.
    Our fathers of the South joined your fathers of the North in
    resistance to a common aggression from their fatherland; and if
    they were justified in rising to right a wrong inflicted by a
    parent country, how much more ought we, should the necessity ever
    come, to stand justified before an enlightened world, in righting
    a wrong from even those we call brothers. That necessity, I trust,
    will never come.

    "What is to be our future, I do not know. I have no taste for
    indulging in speculations about it. I would not, if I could, raise
    the veil that wisely conceals it from us. 'Sufficient unto the day
    is the evil thereof,' is a good precept in everything pertaining
    to human action. The evil I would not anticipate; I would rather
    strive to prevent its coming; and one way, in my judgment, to
    prevent it, is, while here, in all things to do what is right and
    proper to be done under the Constitution of the United States;
    nothing more, and nothing less. Our safety, as well as the
    prosperity of all parts of the country, so long as this government
    lasts, lies mainly in a strict conformity to the laws of its
    existence. Growth is one of these. The admission of new States, is
    one of the objects expressly provided for. How are they to come
    in? With just such constitutions as the people in each may please
    to make for themselves, so it is republican in form. This is the
    ground the South has ever stood upon. Let us not abandon it now.
    It is founded upon a principle planted in the compact of Union
    itself; and more essential to us than all others besides; that is,
    the equality of the States, and the reserved rights of the people
    of the respective States. By our system, each State, however great
    the number, has the absolute right to regulate all its internal
    affairs as she pleases, subject only to her obligations under the
    Constitution of the United States. With this limitation, the
    people of Massachusetts have the perfect right to do as they
    please upon all matters relating to their internal policy; the
    people of Ohio have the right to do the same; the people of
    Georgia the same; of California the same; and so with all the

    "Such is the machinery of our theory of self-government by the
    people. This is the great novelty of our peculiar system,
    involving a principle unknown to the ancients, an idea never
    dreamed of by Aristotle or Plato. The union of several distinct,
    independent communities upon this basis, is a new principle in
    human governments. It is now a problem in experiment for the
    people of the nineteenth century upon this continent to solve. As
    I behold its workings in the past and at the present, while I am
    not sanguine, yet I am hopeful of its successful solution. The
    most joyous feeling of my heart is the earnest hope that it will,
    for the future, move on as peacefully, prosperously, and
    brilliantly, as it has in the past. If so, then we shall exhibit a
    moral and political spectacle to the world something like the
    prophetic vision of Ezekiel, when he saw a number of distinct
    beings or living creatures, each with a separate and distinct
    organism, having the functions of life within itself, all of one
    external likeness, and all, at the same time, mysteriously
    connected with one common animating spirit pervading the whole, so
    that when the common spirit moved they all moved; their appearance
    and their work being, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a
    wheel; and whithersoever the common spirit went, thither the
    others went, all going together; and when they went, he heard the
    noise of their motion like the noise of great waters, as the voice
    of the Almighty. Should our experiment succeed, such will be our
    exhibition--a machinery of government so intricate, so
    complicated, with so many separate and distinct parts, so many
    independent States, each perfect in the attributes and functions
    of sovereignty, within its own jurisdiction, all, nevertheless,
    united under the control of a common directing power for external
    objects and purposes, may natural enough seem novel, strange, and
    inexplicable to the philosophers and crowned heads of the world.

    "It is for us, and those who shall come after us, to determine
    whether this grand experimental problem shall be worked out; not
    by quarrelling amongst ourselves; not by doing injustice to any;
    not by keeping out any particular class of States, but by each
    State remaining a separate and distinct political organism within
    itself--all bound together for general objects, and under a common
    Federal head; as it were, a wheel within a wheel. Then the number
    may be multiplied without limit; and then, indeed, may the nations
    of the earth look on in wonder at our career; and when they hear
    the noise of the wheels of our progress in achievement, in
    development, in expansion, in glory and renown, it may well appear
    to them not unlike the noise of great waters; the very voice of
    the Almighty--_Vox populi! Vox Dei!_ (Great applause in the
    galleries and on the floor.)

    "THE SPEAKER.--If the applause in the galleries is repeated, the
    chair will order the galleries to be cleared.

    "MANY MEMBERS.--It was upon the floor.

    "MR. STEPHENS, of Georgia. One or two other matters only I wish to
    allude to. These relate only to amendments. I trust that every
    friend of this bill will unite and vote down every amendment. It
    needs no amendment. Oregon has nothing to do with Kansas, and
    should in no way be connected with her. To remand her back, as the
    gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Marshall) proposes, to compel her to
    regulate suffrage as we may be disposed to dictate, would be but
    going back to the old attempt to impose conditions upon Missouri.
    There is no necessity for any census if we are satisfied, from all
    the evidence before us, that there are sixty thousand inhabitants
    there. Florida was admitted without a census. Texas was admitted,
    with two members on this floor without a census. So was

    "To our friends upon this side of the house, let me say, if you
    cannot vote for the bill, assist us in having it voted upon as it
    is. Put on no riders. Give us no side-blows. Aid in keeping them
    off. Let the measure stand or fall upon its merits. If you cannot
    vote for the bill, vote against it just as it stands.

    "I see my time is nearly out, and I cannot go into the discussion
    of other branches of the question; but may I not make an appeal to
    all sides of the house to come up to do their duty to-day? I have
    spoken of the rapid development of our country and its progress in
    all its material resources. Is it true that the intellectual and
    moral development of our country has not kept pace with its
    physical? Has our political body outgrown the heads and hearts of
    those who are to govern it? Is it so, that this thirty-fifth
    Congress is unequal to the great mission before it! Are we
    progressing in everything but mind and patriotism? Has destiny
    cast upon us a heavier load of duty than we are able to perform?
    Are we unequal to the task assigned us? I trust not. I know it is
    sometimes said in the country that Congress has degenerated. It is
    for us this day to show whether it is true or not. For myself, I
    do not believe it. It may be that the _esprit de corps_ may have
    some influence on my judgment. Something may be pardoned to that.
    But still I feel that I address men of as much intelligence,
    reflection, talent, integrity, virtue and worth, as I have ever
    met in this hall; men not unfit to be the Representatives of this
    great, growing and prosperous Confederacy. The only real fitness
    for any public station is to be up to the requirements of the
    occasion, whatever that be. Let us, then, vindicate our characters
    as fit legislators to-day; and, with that dignity and decorum
    which have so signally marked our proceedings upon other great,
    exciting questions before, and which, whatever may be said of our
    debates, may be claimed as a distinguished honor for the present
    House of Representatives, let us do the work assigned us with that
    integrity of purpose which discharges duty regardless of
    consequences, and with a patriotism commensurate with the
    magnitude of the subject under all its responsibilities."

Mr. Stephens took very decided ground in favor of the Lecompton bill
in 1857-8, and when that was likely to fail in favor of the English
Compromise. He is also, while a Union man, very much in sympathy with
the Southern Rights school of politicians, and has made two or three
speeches in defence of filibusterism in the house. He has not entirely
forgotten that he was once a Whig, for last winter he spoke in favor
of, and supported heartily the French Spoliation bill. He is a very
fair political opponent, doing everything in an open and frank manner,
but a very shrewd tactician. He has rarely allowed himself to be led
into excited, partisan or sectional speeches, and, therefore, has long
been looked upon in Congress as an admirable party manager.


Few men in the country have, in these latter days of politics, been so
uniformly successful, even when circumstances were untoward, as
Governor Banks. He is known by the people as _a lucky man_. He
succeeds in whatever he undertakes. He has risen from an obscure young
man to be Speaker of the National House of Representatives, and
Governor of one of the first States of the Union. What may not such a
man expect if he be ambitious?

Mr. Banks was born in Waltham, Mass., January 30, 1816, where he
received a common school education. At a very early age he was placed
to work in a cotton-mill, in his native town, as a common hand. His
father was an overseer in the same mill. Here he remained for some
time, but not liking the business left the mill, and learned the trade
of machinist. While thus engaged, a strolling theatrical company
passed through Waltham, and young Banks was so much taken with their
acting, that he learned to perform several parts himself. He succeeded
so well that a tempting offer was made to him to follow the fortunes
of the company. He was sufficiently wise to refuse the offer. There
can be no doubt that to this dramatic corps Mr. Banks owes much of his
after success. They taught him much of that gracefulness which, to
this day, distinguishes him as an orator and a presiding officer.

Banks now joined a village lyceum and made himself a ready
speaker--then delivered temperance speeches, and at last drifted into
politics as a Democrat. He edited a village paper in Waltham, a
Democratic paper, and Mr. Polk gave him an office in the Boston Custom
House. In attending political meetings, Mr. Banks often acted as
presiding officer, and it was soon discovered that he possessed a
remarkable talent for such a post. In 1849, Mr. Banks was elected to
the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and put himself down in
the list of members as a "machinist." The very next year he turned to
the law--in 1851 was chosen Speaker of the State Legislature, and was
a prominent advocate of the coalition between the Democrats and Free
Soilers. This was his first step out of the Democratic party toward
Republicanism. The next year he was reëlected speaker, and in the
autumn was elected to Congress. While in Congress, during his first
term, he voted against the Kansas-Nebraska bill, though he was one of
those Democrats who _voted to take the bill up_, a movement which
insured its final success.

In 1854, Mr. Banks was taken up by the Americans and Republicans, and
sent again to Congress, where, after a memorable _two months'_
contest, yet fresh in the reader's memory, he was elected Speaker of
the House of Representatives. No man has ever surpassed, if one has
ever equalled him, as a speaker of that turbulent body, and he left
the post with the highest honors. He was reëlected to Congress, but
after taking his seat and remaining a month at Washington, he resigned
it to assume the governorship of Massachusetts, to which office the
people of the State had elected him by a tremendous majority.

He was reëlected in the fall of 1858 by a heavy majority, and at this
time fills the Governor's chair. This, in a few words, is Governor
Bank's political career. As a politician, he has shown himself shrewd,
as a presiding officer prompt, graceful, commanding, and as an
administrator, a governor, he has proved himself to be a man of rare
genius. This, in fact, is Governor Bank's _forte_. He has a genius
_for governing men_--that most rare of all gifts. He cannot be said to
have made a political blunder in his life, speaking after the fashion
of political men.

It is of great importance to the people what are the _political
opinions_ of such a man as Governor Banks. But he is so cautious, so
reticent, that upon some points it is difficult to state his exact
position. In a letter, addressed by Mr. Banks to the Republican
Convention of Worcester--in the fall of 1857, Mr. Banks states his
opinions upon some of the prominent questions of the day. We will make
a few extracts:

    "My opinions upon all questions relating to the General Government
    of the States, have been made public during my connection with an
    office from which I have been but recently relieved, and also by
    my course in the late Presidential canvass. I resisted the repeal
    of the Missouri Compromise, and I am still opposed to that
    measure, as I am to all acts of the late and present
    administration, whether of an executive, legislative, or judicial
    character, which have been devised to maintain or to perpetuate
    the original purpose of that flagitious wrong; and I shall
    earnestly advocate the admission of Kansas into the Union of
    States, under its own charter of freedom. I am opposed to the
    further extension of slavery, or to the increase of its political
    power. I believe that the Constitution confers upon Congress
    sovereign power over the territories of the United States for
    their government; and that, in the exercise of its authority, it
    is its duty to prohibit slavery or polygamy therein. I shall
    support the most energetic measures which the Constitution admits,
    for the development of the moral and material interests of the
    American people, defend the sovereignty of the States against
    executive or judicial encroachment, and contribute all in my power
    for the restoration of the General Government to the principles of
    the fathers of the Constitution and the Union.

    "I am opposed to the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the
    United States, not only upon the ground that it controverts the
    principles and overthrows all the precedents of our history upon
    the subject of slavery, but that it assumes to decide, as a
    judicial problem, the question whether slavery shall be
    established in this State, which has been, and ought to be, left
    as a political question for the people of the State to determine
    for themselves.

    "It is pleasant for us at all times to recall the traditions of
    our fathers, to repeat their affirmation of principles, which seem
    to us to be self-evident truths, and which were announced to the
    world by men who were ready and able to support them in council,
    and to defend them in the field. But it is a pleasure that cannot
    be enjoyed apart from the conviction that it is for us an equal,
    if not a higher duty, vigilantly to course every means that will
    tend to insure and perpetuate their supremacy, on this continent
    at least. If it shall hereafter appear that our Government has
    departed therefrom, and joined itself to other and false political
    doctrines, I trust that it may never be said of the people of
    Massachusetts, that an unreasonable refusal of minor concessions,
    or their immaterial diversities of opinions--always the bane of
    republics--gave success and perpetual power to their opponents. No
    one can doubt that a vast majority of the people of the United
    States are opposed to the policy represented by the slavery
    propagandists; and still less can we doubt that it is their
    diversity of opinion in non-essentials that encourages the
    Government with hopes of success, and constantly defeats the
    purposes of the people. It is no less a shame for us, under such
    circumstances, to admit our incapacity to maintain our principles,
    than to acknowledge a defection from the faith of our fathers.

    "In our age, with our lights, success is a duty. The graves of the
    past proclaim that failure must be the fault of the people, and
    not of their cause. But there will be no permanent failure. There
    was never a more auspicious hour for the friends of freedom than
    the present. To whatever policy the Government may now devote its
    energies, political power must soon fall into new hands. And when
    power shall pass into the hands of the young men of this age, I
    can entertain no doubt that, like the young men of a past age, to
    whom Jefferson appealed, and who were his constant supporters in
    the great battles of his day, for the suppression of the slave
    trade, and the ultimate supremacy of Liberty in the early councils
    of our people, they will give renewed life to a national policy of
    freedom, traditional and true, which must be the basis of all
    moral or material prosperity, and which is dictated alike by
    conscience and common sense. I rejoice with an inward joy, that
    the young men of Massachusetts, as it were by spontaneous
    movement, and with a true appreciation of their duty and power,
    have assumed a position and unfurled a flag that will be hailed in
    other States as a harbinger of a better age--a radiant star, that
    shall lead to new and decisive victories for the good old cause.

    "The affairs of our State demand no less our attention. There is
    now an unusually favorable opportunity for the initiation of
    political changes of great importance, which cannot fail to be
    acceptable to all classes of people. Of these, restricted sessions
    of the legislature, and heavy retrenchment in State expenditures,
    are of lasting importance. Our people, constantly engaged in
    pursuits of commerce, manufactures, mechanic arts, and
    agriculture, have a right to demand of the Government that it
    shall meet, without evasion, the necessities of the time, and
    enable them, without following the constant changes of
    partisanship, to hold their servants to an immediate and direct

It is not easy to say how closely Mr. Banks has been connected with
Americanism in Massachusetts. It is very certain that he _used_
Americanism, and that he guided it, but to what extent he has adopted,
at any time, its doctrines, we cannot say. It has been said that Mr.
Banks was opposed to the "Two Years' Amendment" recently adopted by
the voters of Massachusetts, but he failed to show his hand upon it
one way or the other. The Americans, we believe, claim that Mr. Banks
is one of them in principle, but upon what grounds we know not.

Mr. Banks, though formerly a Democrat, is understood to be in favor of
a moderately protective tariff. He is, as the extracts we have quoted
show, decidedly opposed to the extension of slavery, but does not
occupy, as an opponent of slavery, such advanced ground as that upon
which Mr. Seward stands. He is opposed to agitation upon the slavery
question, except in self-defence, while Mr. Seward is for battle, open
and decided, but constitutional, till slavery is driven from the


Gen. Lane occupies a somewhat prominent position before the country in
reference to the Presidency. Not because he professes to be a leading
statesman of the country, for it is but recently that he has become a
national legislator, or participated, to any great extent, in national
politics. But possibly for this very reason many eyes are turned
toward him as a fit subject for the suffrages of the Charleston

Joseph Lane is a native of North Carolina, and was born December 14,
1801. In 1804 his father removed his family to Kentucky, and in 1816
young Joseph crossed the Ohio, and entered a store in Warwick County,
Indiana. What his opportunities were, in early life, for education, we
do not learn, but that they were slight cannot be doubted--a common
school education being all that was within his reach. The rest he
procured for himself in the wide school of the world.

For several years Lane followed a mercantile life, marrying early, and
changing his residence to Vanderberg County. He first tried the paths
of public life as a member of the Indiana legislature, the people of
Warwick and Vanderberg counties liking him so well that they invited
him to become their representative in the State legislature. He proved
himself to be a capable, and, indeed, popular legislator, so much so,
that his constituents kept him in the Senate or House of
Representatives of the State, off and on, for more than twenty years.
He was always in the legislature a manager, rather than a talker. He
has never claimed the title of orator, for he was not bred to it, nor
ever had an aptness for it. But he showed at once that he possessed a
genius for legislation, and was kept constantly by the people at the
business. In the Indiana legislature, he strenuously opposed the
project of repudiation which, in the dark days of Indiana, was
supported by many of her citizens and politicians. His independent
course against the proposed measure of dishonor, was all that saved
the State from the terrible step, and this fact is generally admitted
by her people, irrespective of their politics.

The military career of Gen. Lane now began, and is sketched by one of
his friends in the following language:

"In the Mexican war, Gen. Lane was among the first to respond to the
call for volunteers, by enlisting as a private in the 2d Indiana
regiment, of which he was subsequently elected colonel. He, however,
took the field with the rank of brigadier general, having been
commissioned by President Polk, at the solicitation of the Indiana
Congressional delegation. His subsequent conduct fully justified this
honor. Soon after reaching Mexico, he was appointed by General Butler
civil and military governor of Saltillo, but after the battle of
Monterey, received orders to join General Taylor with his brigade. He
was first under fire at the terrible battle of Buena Vista, on the 22d
and 23d of February, 1847, and particularly distinguished himself in
the furious encounters of the second day. With a command reduced to
400 men, by details sent to check a flank movement of Santa Anna,
General Lane maintained the position he occupied against an attack of
6,000 Mexicans. It appears almost incredible that he was enabled to
roll back such an overwhelming force. When Santa Anna made his last
desperate attack on the Illinois and Kentucky regiments, General Lane,
at a critical moment, hastened to their support, and his timely aid
enabled the column to reform and return to the contest, and thus
contributed largely to the victory that crowned the American arms. In
September, 1847, General Lane was transferred to Scott's line. On the
20th of September he took up his line of march for the capital at the
head of a column of volunteers, including some horse, and two pieces
of artillery, and amounting in all to about 2,500 men. On the way,
Major Lally joined him with 1,000 men, and at Jalapa his force was
further augmented by a company of mounted riflemen, two companies of
infantry (volunteers), and two pieces of artillery. At this time the
gallant Colonel Childs, U.S.A., was holding out Puebla, against a
siege conducted by Santa Anna in person. Foiled in this effort, the
Mexican general moved toward Huamantla, with the purpose of attacking
General Lane's column in the rear, simultaneously with another attack
from the direction of Puebla. But General Lane, who, throughout the
campaign, exhibited the highest military qualities, penetrated the
design of the enemy, and leaving a detachment to guard the wagon
trains, diverged from the main road and marched on to Huamantla, which
he reached on the 9th of October. The Mexicans, dismayed at his
unexpected appearance, hung out white flags, and the Americans began
to enter the city.

"The treacherous Mexicans, however, opened a fire on his advanced
guard, under Captain Walker, and a terrible contest took place in the
plaza. General Lane, in the meanwhile, was engaged with the
reinforcement brought up under Santa Anna; but after a furious battle,
the Americans were victorious, and the stars and stripes waved in
triumph over Huamantla. The remains of the Mexican force fell back on
Atlixo, where they were rallied and reinforced by General Rea. General
Lane, coming up after a long and fatiguing march, found the enemy
strongly posted on a hill-side about a mile and a half from the town,
and immediately gave them battle. After a desperate conflict, the
Mexicans gave way, and threw themselves into Atlixo. At nightfall,
General Lane established his batteries on a commanding eminence, and
opened his fire on the town; but the Mexican troops having retreated,
the civil authorities immediately surrendered the place, and the
Americans took possession of it. Throughout the remainder of the
campaign, General Lane was in active service, and contributed greatly
to its fortunate issue. His operations exhibited a striking
combination of intelligence and daring. With a Napoleonic celerity of
movement, he appeared almost ubiquitous. Wherever and whenever his
presence was most needed, then and there did the 'Marion of the
Mexican war' make his appearance. The long marches executed by his
command excited the admiration of military men as much as their
chivalric daring in the field. General Lane succeeded in infusing into
his troops his own spirit of patient toil and brilliant valor. After
marching many leagues under a broiling sun, reflected from arid plains
and rocks, through rugged defiles and lonely valleys, the presence of
the enemy always found them ready to rush into battle, resistless and
undaunted. Far away from the scenes of strife, we read of General
Lane's exploits with mingled admiration and astonishment, and the
barbarous names of Tlascala, Matamaros, Galaxa, Tulaucingo, became
'familiar in our mouths as household words,' when illustrated by the
valor of the American general. The story of his deeds read like a
romance, and there was that in the character of the gallant volunteer
which enlisted the warmest sympathy. He was the true type of the
American citizen soldier, abandoning the tranquil delights of home,
and the honors of a civic career, for the toils and dangers of war, at
the call of his country, and learning the military art by its
exercise. To the fiery and impetuous valor which distinguishes the
French soldier, General Lane united the stern resolution which
characterized the old Roman warrior, but he repudiated the Roman
military maxim, 'Woe to the vanquished!' as unworthy of an American
officer. The wounded enemy received as much attention at his hands as
a wounded comrade, and as he had communicated to his men his spirit of
endurance and valor, so he impressed them by his example of humanity
and moderation in victory. In July, 1848, General Lane returned to the
United States, and was appointed by President Polk, Territorial
Governor of Oregon. After a perilous journey, he reached his post in
March, 1849, and immediately organized the government. After being
superseded by Governor Gaines, under Taylor's administration, he was
elected by the people of Oregon, with whom he was universally popular,
as delegate to Congress. In 1853, the outrages of the Indians in the
southern part of Oregon, called him once more to the field at the head
of a small force of volunteers and regular troops, and after a
desperate battle near Table Rock, in which he was severely wounded, he
succeeded in forcing them into submission and peace."

General Lane labored faithfully to bring Oregon into the Union, and at
last succeeded, for in February, 1859, the Oregon bill passed the
House of Representatives, and he having been elected senator of the
young State took his seat in that body, and chose the long, or six
years' term.

General Lane has taken little part, as we have said, in the recent
party politics of the day, though, in the winter of 1857-8, he did
make a speech in defence of the Lecompton Constitution. He was not
however ultra in his sentiments. We quote his speech, which was short,
on the admission of Oregon into the Union. It will be seen that
portions of the speech relate to General Lane's personal history:

    "Mr. Speaker, I have not yet had an opportunity of addressing
    myself to the House in behalf of the admission of Oregon. It is a
    matter of very great importance to the people of that territory,
    and of the whole country. I would not now trespass on the time of
    the House, were it not for the purpose of making a personal

    "I find in the 'Oregon Statesman,' a paper published at Salem,
    Oregon, a letter purporting to have been written from this city,
    bearing date the 17th of June last, in which it is charged that I
    had managed to prevent action on the admission bill, for the
    purpose of obtaining double mileage if elected to the Senate. If
    that letter had not been published in a Democratic paper, I would
    not have noticed it; but as it has been, I feel it my duty to say,
    that if the letter was written here, the writer of that letter
    knew very little about me.

    "Money, I thank God, has not been a consideration with me in the
    discharge of my official duty. It has had no influence over my
    action, official, moral, political, or social. I have never
    coveted money. I desire only the reputation of an honest man; and
    that I intend to deserve always, as I have deserved heretofore
    that reputation. I did all I could to bring Oregon in; and when I
    found we could not, I said to you, Mr. Speaker, I said to the
    Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate, I said to the Sergeant-at-Arms of
    the House, that if elected and admitted to the Senate, I would not
    take double mileage, or double compensation. Throughout all my
    official action, I have studied the strictest principles of
    economy toward the Government. When I was appointed Governor of
    Oregon territory, in 1848, I paid for my own outfit, and travelled
    across the plains to the territory of Oregon without the cost to
    the Government of a single cent. When I arrived at San Francisco,
    I had to make the trip from there to Oregon by water. I had run
    out of money, and I borrowed enough to pay my passage to Oregon
    City, and I paid it as soon as I earned it out of my salary.
    Though I was offered a free passage by the quartermaster, who went
    out in the same vessel with a small detachment of troops, and who
    thought I was entitled to a free passage, yet I declined to accept
    the offer.

    "Then, in the discharge of my duties of Governor, in the
    management of Indian affairs, I can say, that, for the smallness
    of those expenses, there is no parallel to my administration in
    that respect. During the time I was Governor of Oregon, and _ex
    officio_ superintendent of Indian affairs, I visited fifty-odd
    tribes of Indians, and gave them presents, small in amount, it is
    true, but such as were necessary to keep them in a good
    disposition toward the whites; and that for the whole amount of
    expenses in travelling, I made not a cent of charge. My accounts
    show not a single charge against the Government; and the whole
    amount of expense, of whatever nature, for the whole eighteen
    months that I visited those tribes of Indians, was less than three
    thousand dollars. I mention these things in the way of a personal
    explanation against the charges of a letter-writer.

    "MR. KILGORE.--I wish to ask the gentleman from Oregon a question.
    I understood him to remark that he would not have noticed the
    matter had it been published in a Republican paper. Will the
    gentleman let us know why he would not have noticed it if it had
    been published in a respectable Republican newspaper?"

    "MR. LANE.--The Republican papers have taken the liberty so often
    of giving me so many hard raps that I have got used to it, and I
    would not have taken it to heart. But this appears in a Democratic
    paper, and in a paper that has had the Government public printing.
    This is a fire in the rear that I do not like.

    "I will say this: that I have had no cause of complaint of
    letter-writers since I have been a delegate upon this floor. Very
    few of them have taken the trouble to notice me favorably, and I
    am sure I never should desire them to notice me unfavorably; but I
    will say in vindication, or rather to the credit of the
    letter-writers in this city, that I do not believe that this
    letter was written in Washington. I believe it was written in
    Oregon territory, and with a view, in my absence, to affect my
    character as a public servant and as an honest man, and with a
    view to prejudice the admission of Oregon; and perhaps in order
    that the editor of this Democratic paper might still have the
    benefit of his thousands of dollars annually for the public

    "I have said this much about the letter-writers; and now I must be
    allowed, as I feel the deepest interest in the admission of
    Oregon, to say a few words upon this subject.

    "MR. GOOCH.--I wish to ask the gentleman from Oregon if, in case
    Oregon is admitted and he has a vote at either end of this
    Capitol, he will vote to relieve Kansas from the effect of the
    English bill, so called, and let her present herself for admission
    when she chooses?

    "MR. LANE.--I do not come here to make any bargain, contract, or
    promises. I am an honest man; and if I am permitted to go into the
    Senate I shall exercise a sound discretion and judgment, and with
    a strong desire to promote the general good, prosperity and
    welfare of a country that I love more than life; and I believe
    that my official action through life is a guaranty that in all
    matters I will do what I believe to be right.

    "Now, Mr. Speaker, Oregon territory is peculiarly situated. I
    think if there ever was a case in this country where a people were
    entitled to the care, the protection, and aid of this Government,
    it is the people of that territory. They went out there at a very
    early day. I heard with pleasure, from gentlemen on the other side
    of the House, a partial history of the early settlement of that
    country. As early as 1832, 1833, and 1834, and from that time down
    to 1839 and 1840, the missionary societies of this country took it
    into their heads very wisely to establish missionaries upon the
    Pacific. They sent out good and educated men, men who had a strong
    desire to civilize the savages, to inculcate religious principles
    among them, and encourage habits of industry and civilization.
    Their missions were assisted by many old trappers, who, though
    they had spent many years in the mountains, in pursuit of game and
    furs, were yet men who had noble and pure hearts, and who readily
    offered such aid and assistance as was in their power. Settlements
    grew up around the missionary posts. Every effort was put forth by
    these good people to influence the habits of the savages. They
    were urged to be led upon the paths of Christianity and

    "In 1841, these settlements had been extended all over the
    country, and their welfare depended upon order and good
    government. They, therefore, organized themselves into a temporary
    provisional government. A board was appointed to enact laws, and
    judges were selected for the decision of all matters in dispute.
    That provisional government continued until 1843, when a regular
    form of government was adopted. George Abernethy was elected
    Governor. A Legislative Assembly was created, judges were
    appointed, and all the operations of a government went on as
    smoothly as they do in any of the territories of the United
    States. A post-office department was established, and mail service
    was performed throughout the territory. Communication thus was
    kept up with all sections of the Union and Oregon. That government
    continued until 1848, when, by act of Congress, the laws of the
    United States were extended over Oregon, and a territorial
    government was voted to her. When I arrived there, in the winter
    of 1848, I found the provisional government I have referred to,
    working beautifully. Peace and plenty blessed the hills and vales,
    and harmony and quiet, under the benign influence of that
    government, reigned supreme throughout her borders. I thought that
    it was almost a pity to disturb the existing relations--to put
    that government down and another up. Yet they came out to meet me,
    their first Governor under the laws of the United States. They
    told me how proud they were to be under the laws of the United
    States; and how glad they were to welcome me as holding the
    commission of the General Government. Why, sir, my heart waxed
    warm to them from that day.

    "Mr. Speaker, can any man upon this floor reconcile it with the
    common dictates of justice to deny to this people a State
    government? They are law-abiding; they have population; they are
    competent for self-government: wherein is it that they are
    deficient? My friend from Tennessee [Mr. Zollicoffer] said that he
    voted for Kansas because of fear of disturbances; because,
    forsooth, they were outlaws and bad men. Would not that be a
    reward for defiance of the law?

    "MR. ZOLLICOFFER.--The statement of the gentleman from Oregon does
    me a great injustice. On the Kansas question there was great
    excitement, connected with the question of slavery, which agitated
    the public mind of the whole Union to such an extent that I
    regarded it my duty to aid to bring Kansas into the Union, and at
    once settle the agitation attaching to that territory. This
    consideration was, to my mind, paramount to that of population.

    "MR. DAVIS, of Mississippi.--I desire to ask the gentleman from
    Oregon whether, from his knowledge of the country, he believes
    there are ninety-three thousand four hundred and twenty people

    "MR. LANE.--I do. From my knowledge of the country, from the rapid
    increase of population there, I believe that there are
    ninety-three thousand four hundred and twenty inhabitants there;
    ninety-three thousand four hundred and twenty white people, no
    Chinamen or negroes counted. I am not only satisfied of that, but
    I can show, I think, that Oregon, before the apportionment in
    1870, will stand here with her representatives representing three
    hundred thousand people.

    "Mr. Speaker, she comes here with a constitution regularly framed,
    and adopted by her people. It is the wish of those people that
    they shall assume the responsibilities of State government. Are
    they not entitled to it? Now I would ask the friends of her
    admission to vote down all amendments. If the bill is to stand,
    let it stand as it came from the Senate. If it is to fall, then
    let it fall upon that bill. Do not refuse her request by
    indirection; let the issue be fairly and openly made. She has been
    fair and honest in her dealings with us, and why should we be
    otherwise to her? My northern friends will believe me when I say
    that the rights of every State of the Union are as dear to me as
    those of Oregon. If I have a seat in Congress, I will be, at all
    times, prompt to resent any trespass on the rights of the States
    as secured by the Constitution. My affection rests on every inch
    of this Union--East and West, North and South. The promotion of
    the prosperity of this great country is the strongest desire of my
    heart. I then ask gentlemen, on all sides of the House, on what
    principle of justice or right, the application of Oregon can be

In his personal appearance Mr. Lane is dignified and commanding. He is
uniformly good natured and his intimate friends assert that in his
judgments of men and political parties he is very fair. He is tall,
with a fine forehead, greyish hair, and florid complexion. As a
speaker, we have remarked, he is not distinguished, though he is
perfectly at his ease while delivering a speech in Congress.


John McLean, or rather Judge McLean--for by the last name he is
everywhere known--has been member of Congress, Post Master-General,
General Land Office Commissioner, Judge in the State of Ohio, and
finally Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. We can add
that the man so prominent, so successful, is worthy of all his
advancement, for he has ever been a man of unswerving integrity, and
of lofty character. He was born in Morris County, New Jersey, on the
11th of March, 1785. Four years later, his father, who was poor,
removed to the West--first to Morganstown, Virginia, next to
Jessamine, Kentucky, and finally to what is now Warren County, Ohio.
This was then a wild country, and the hardy pioneer went at work and
cleared up a farm in it, whereon he resided forty years, and died in
the home which he had made in the wilderness. Here, too, lived John
McLean, the subject of this sketch, and worked upon the farm which he
afterward owned. There were few opportunities within his reach to
obtain a good education--this was at the beginning of the present
century--but to such schools as were to be found near home he was
sent, and made such rapid progress that when he was sixteen years of
age he was put under the care of a neighboring clergyman that he might
study the languages, and as his father's means were still somewhat
limited, he entirely supported himself and paid his tuition expenses
by his labor. He was already ambitious, and determined to study the
law. When he was eighteen years old, he made an engagement to write in
the clerk's office of Hamilton County, in Cincinnati, and entered the
law office of Arthur St. Clair, then an eminent lawyer of Cincinnati.
His writing in the clerk's office supported him, though he was obliged
to practise the closest economy. He took part in a debating society,
and by practice fitted himself for his future business. In the spring
of 1807, he married a Miss Edwards--before he was admitted to the
bar--which was doubtless in the eyes of all his prudent friends a very
foolish act. But so it did not turn out to be. Miss Edwards made him
an excellent wife, and the early marriage saved him from vice and
dissipation into which so many young men of his profession plunge at
his age. In the fall of the same year, Mr. McLean was admitted to the
bar, and returned to Warren County, where he speedily secured a large
legal business.

In 1812, he became a candidate for Congress, his district then
including Cincinnati. He had two competitors, but was chosen by a
large majority. One of his friends writes:

"From his first entrance upon public life, John McLean was identified
with the Democratic party. He was an ardent supporter of the war, and
of the administration of Mr. Madison, yet not a blind advocate of
every measure proposed by the party, as the journals of that period
will show. His votes were all given in reference to principle. The
idea of supporting a dominant party, merely because it was dominant,
did not influence his judgment, or withdraw him from the high path of
duty which he had marked out for himself. He was well aware, that the
association of individuals into parties was sometimes absolutely
necessary to the prosecution and accomplishment of any great public
measure. This he supposed was sufficient to induce the members
composing them, on any little difference with the majority, to
sacrifice their own judgment to that of the greater number, and to
distrust their own opinions when they were in contradiction to the
general views of the party. But as party was thus to be regarded as
itself, only an instrument for the attainment of some great public
good, the instrument should not be raised into greater importance than
the end, nor any clear and undoubted principle of morality be violated
for the sake of adherence to party. Mr. McLean often voted against
political friends; yet so highly were both his integrity and judgment
estimated, that no one of the Democratic party separated himself from
him on that account. Nor did his independent course in the smallest
degree diminish the weight he had acquired among his own constituents.

"Among the measures supported by him, were the tax bills of the extra
session at which he first entered Congress. He originated the law to
indemnify individuals for property lost in the public service. A
resolution instructing the proper committee to inquire into the
expediency of giving pensions to the widows of the officers and
soldiers who had fallen in their country's service, was introduced by
him; and the measure was afterward sanctioned by Congressional
enactment. By an able speech he defended the war measures of the
administration; and by the diligent discharge of his duties in respect
to the general welfare of the country, and the interests of his people
and district, he continued to rise in public estimation. In 1814, he
was re-ëlected to Congress by the unanimous vote of his district,
receiving not only every vote cast in the district for representative,
but every voter that attended the polls voted for him--a circumstance
that has rarely occurred in the political history of any man. His
position as a member of the committee of foreign relations and of the
public lands, indicates the estimation in which he was held, and his
familiarity with the important questions of foreign and domestic
policy which were in agitation during the eventful period of his

In 1815, he was urgently solicited to become a candidate for the U.S.
Senate, but he declined. He was then but thirty years of age. In 1816,
he was unanimously elected judge of the Supreme Court of the state of
Ohio and he resigned his seat in Congress. While in Congress he voted
for a bill giving to each member a salary of $1,500 a year instead of
the per diem allowance.

Judge McLean presided on the bench in Ohio for six years, during which
time he won for himself an enviable judicial reputation. In 1822, he
was appointed commissioner of the general Land Office by President
Monroe; and in 1823, he entered the cabinet as Postmaster General. As
Postmaster General he secured a fine reputation, improving its
finances and in every possible way improving the postal facilities of
the country. By an almost unanimous vote of Congress his salary was
increased from $4,000 to $6,000.

"The distribution of the public patronage of his department exhibited
in another respect his qualities as an executive officer, and
manifested the rule of action that has always marked his character.
The principle upon which executive patronage should be distributed,
has been one of the most important questions in this government, and
has presented the widest variation between the profession and practice
of individuals and parties. In the administration of the post-office
department by Judge McLean, an example was presented in strict
consistence with sound principles of republican government, and just
party organization. During the whole time that the affairs of the
department were administered by the judge, he had necessarily a
difficult part to act. The country was divided into two great parties,
animated by the most determined spirit of rivalry, and each bent on
advancing itself to the lead of public affairs. A question was now
started, whether it was proper to make political opinions the test of
qualification for office. Such a principle had been occasionally acted
upon during the preceding periods of our history; but so rarely, as to
constitute the exception, rather than the rule. It had never become
the settled and systematic course of conduct of any public officer.
Doubtless every one is bound to concede something to the temper and
opinions of the party to which he belongs, otherwise party would be an
association without any connecting bond of alliance.

"But no man is permitted to infringe any one of the great rules of
morality and justice, for the sake of subserving the interests of his
party. It cannot be too often repeated, nor too strongly impressed
upon the public men of America, that nothing is easier than to
reconcile these two apparently conflicting views. The meaning of
party, is an association of men for the purpose of advancing the
public interests. Men thrown together indiscriminately, without any
common bond of alliance, would be able to achieve nothing great and
valuable; while united together, to lend each other mutual support and
assistance, they are able to surmount the greatest obstacles, and to
accomplish the most important ends. This is the true notion of party.
It imports combined action; but does not imply any departure from the
great principles of truth and honesty. So long as the structure of the
human mind is so varied in different individuals, there will always be
a wide scope for diversity of opinion as to public measures; but no
foundation is yet laid in the human mind for any material difference
of opinion, as to what constitutes the great rule of justice.

"The course which was pursued by Judge McLean was marked by the
greatest wisdom and moderation. Believing that every public officer
holds his office in trust for the people, he determined to be
influenced by no other principle in the discharge of his public
duties, than a faithful performance of the trust committed to him. No
individual was removed from office by him, on account of his political
opinions. In making appointments where the claims and qualifications
of persons were equal, and at the same time one was known to be
friendly to the administration, he felt himself bound to appoint the
one who was his friend. But when persons were recommended to office,
it was not the practice to name, as a recommendation, that they had
been or were warm supporters of the dominant power. In all such cases,
the man who was believed to be the best qualified was selected by the

In 1829, General Jackson appointed Mr. McLean to the bench of the
Supreme Court of the United States, he having previously declined the
War and Navy Departments, although the two men differed somewhat in
their ideas of public policy. In January, 1830, he took his seat upon
the bench, and since that time the only indications of Judge McLean's
opinions on the political issues of modern times which the public
could notice, have been afforded by his published decisions involving
the question of slavery. Some years since, the private friends of
Judge McLean were aware that he sympathized very deeply with the
Anti-Slavery reformers of the West and North, and that he did not
approve of the political principles of the Democratic party, as laid
down in their regular platforms, on this subject. He may be safely set
down as a conservative opponent of negro slavery, and its extension
into the territories of the republic. In the last Presidential
election he voted for John C. Fremont, which would seem to settle the
question as to his political affinities. He is a Republican.

From Judge McLean's opinion, delivered in the Dred Scott case, we
gather his views upon some of the more prominent political issues of
the day:

    "As to the locality of slavery. The civil law throughout the
    continent of Europe, it is believed, without an exception, is,
    that slavery can exist only within the territory where it is
    established; and that, if a slave escapes, or is carried beyond
    such territory, his master cannot reclaim him, unless by virtue of
    some express stipulation.

    "There is no nation in Europe which considers itself bound to
    return to his master a fugitive slave, under the civil law or the
    law of nations. On the contrary, the slave is held to be free
    where there is no treaty obligation, or compact in some other
    form, to return him to his master. The Roman law did not allow
    freedom to be sold. An ambassador or any other public functionary
    could not take a slave to France, Spain, or any other country in
    Europe, without emancipating him. A number of slaves escaped from
    a Florida plantation, and were received on board of ship by
    Admiral Cochrane; by the King's Bench, they were held to be free.

    In the great and leading case of Prigg _v._ the State of
    Pennsylvania, this court says that, by the general law of nations,
    no nation is bound to recognize the state of slavery, as found
    within its territorial dominions, where it is in opposition to its
    own policy and institutions, in favor of the subjects of other
    nations where slavery is organized. If it does it, it is as a
    matter of comity, and not as a matter of international right. The
    state of slavery is deemed to be a mere municipal regulation,
    founded upon and limited to the range of the territorial laws.
    This was fully recognized in Somerset's case, which was decided
    before the American Revolution.

    "There was some contrariety of opinion among the judges on certain
    points ruled in Prigg's case, but there was none in regard to the
    great principle, that slavery is limited to the range of the laws
    under which it is sanctioned.

    "No case in England appears to have been more thoroughly examined
    than that of Somerset. The judgment pronounced by Lord Mansfield
    was the judgment of the Court of King's Bench. The cause was
    argued at great length, and with great ability, by Hargrave and
    others, who stood among the most eminent counsel in England. It
    was held under advisement from term to term, and a due sense of
    its importance was felt and expressed by the Bench.

    "In giving the opinion of the court, Lord Mansfield said:

    "'The state of slavery is of such a nature that it is incapable of
    being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only by
    positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons,
    occasion, and time itself, from whence it was created, are erased
    from the memory; it is of a nature that nothing can be suffered to
    support it but positive law.'"

    In relation to the connection between the Federal Government and
    slavery, Judge McLean remarks:

    "The only connection which the Federal Government holds with
    slaves in a State, arises from that provision in the Constitution
    which declares that 'No person held to service or labor in one
    State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in
    consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from
    such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the
    party to whom such service or labor may be due.'

    "This being a fundamental law of the Federal Government, it rests
    mainly for its execution, as has been held, on the judicial power
    of the Union; and so far as the rendition of fugitives from labor
    has become a subject of judicial action, the federal obligation
    has been faithfully discharged.

    "In the formation of the Federal Constitution, care was taken to
    confer no power on the Federal Government to interfere with this
    institution in the States. In the provisions respecting the slave
    trade, in fixing the ratio of representation, and providing for
    the reclamation of fugitives from labor, slaves were referred to
    as persons, and in no other respect are they considered in the

    "We need not refer to the mercenary spirit which introduced the
    infamous traffic in slaves, to show the degradation of negro
    slavery in our country. This system was imposed upon our colonial
    settlements by the mother country, and it is due to truth to say
    that the commercial colonies and States were chiefly engaged in
    the traffic. But we know as a historical fact, that James Madison,
    that great and good man, a leading member in the Federal
    Convention, was solicitous to guard the language of that
    instrument so as not to convey the idea that there could be
    property in man.

    "I prefer the lights of Madison, Hamilton, and Jay, as a means of
    construing the Constitution in all its bearings, rather than to
    look behind that period, into a traffic which is now declared to
    be piracy, and punished with death by Christian nations. I do not
    like to draw the sources of our domestic relations from so dark a
    ground. Our independence was a great epoch in the history of
    freedom; and while I admit the Government was not made especially
    for the colored race, yet many of them were citizens of the New
    England States, and exercised the rights of suffrage when the
    Constitution was adopted, and it was not doubted by any
    intelligent person that its tendencies would greatly ameliorate
    their condition.

    "Many of the States, on the adoption of the Constitution, or
    shortly afterward, took measures to abolish slavery within their
    respective jurisdictions; and it is a well-known fact that a
    belief was cherished by the leading men, South as well as North,
    that the institution of slavery would gradually decline, until it
    would become extinct. The increased value of slave labor, in the
    culture of cotton and sugar, prevented the realization of this
    expectation. Like all other communities and States, the South were
    influenced by what they considered to be their own interests.

    "But if we are to turn our attention to the dark ages of the
    world, why confine our view to colored slavery? On the same
    principles, white men were made slaves. All slavery has its origin
    in power, and is against right."

In reference to the power of Congress to prohibit slavery in the
territories, we quote the subjoined paragraphs from Judge McLean's

    "On the 13th of July, the ordinance of 1787 was passed, 'for the
    government of the United States territory northwest of the river
    Ohio,' with but one dissenting vote. This instrument provided
    there should be organized in the territory not less than three nor
    more than five States, designating their boundaries. It was passed
    while the federal convention was in session, about two months
    before the Constitution was adopted by the convention. The members
    of the convention must therefore have been well acquainted with
    the provisions of the ordinance. It provided for a temporary
    government, as initiatory to the formation of State governments.
    Slavery was prohibited in the territory.

    "Can any one suppose that the eminent men of the federal
    convention could have overlooked or neglected a matter so vitally
    important to the country, in the organization of temporary
    governments for the vast territory northwest of the river Ohio? In
    the 3d section of the 4th article of the Constitution, they did
    make provision for the admission of new States, the sale of the
    public lands, and the temporary government of the territory.
    Without a temporary government, new States could not have been
    formed, nor could the public lands have been sold.

    "If the 3d section were before us now for consideration for the
    first time, under the facts stated, I could not hesitate to say
    there was adequate legislative power given in it. The power to
    make all needful rules and regulations is a power to legislate.
    This no one will controvert, as Congress cannot make 'rules and
    regulations,' except by legislation. But it is argued that the
    word territory is used as synonymous with the word land; and that
    the rules and regulations of Congress are limited to the
    disposition of lands and other property belonging to the United
    States. That this is not the true construction of the section
    appears from the fact that in the first line of the section 'the
    power to dispose of the public lands' is given expressly, and, in
    addition, to make all needful rules and regulations. The power to
    dispose of is complete in itself and requires nothing more. It
    authorizes Congress to use the proper means within its discretion,
    and any further provision for this purpose would be a useless
    verbiage. As a composition the Constitution is remarkably free
    from such a charge.

    "The prohibition of slavery north of 36° 30', and of the State of
    Missouri, contained in the act admitting that State into the
    Union, was passed by a vote of 134, in the House of
    Representatives, to 42. Before Mr. Monroe signed the act, it was
    submitted by him to his Cabinet, and they held the restriction of
    slavery in a territory to be within the constitutional powers of
    Congress. It would be singular, if, in 1804, Congress had the
    power to prohibit the introduction of slaves in Orleans territory
    from any other part of the Union, under the penalty of freedom to
    the slave, if the same power embodied in the Missouri Compromise
    could not be exercised in 1820.

    "But this law of Congress, which prohibits slavery north of
    Missouri and of 36° 30', is declared to have been null and void by
    my brethren. And this opinion is founded mainly, as I understand,
    on the distinction drawn between the ordinance of 1787 and the
    Missouri Compromise line. In what does the distinction consist?
    The ordinance, it is said, was a compact entered into by the
    confederated States before the adoption of the Constitution; and
    that in the cession of territory, authority was given to establish
    a territorial government.

    "It is clear that the ordinance did not go into operation by
    virtue of the authority of the confederation, but by reason of its
    modification and adoption by Congress under the Constitution. It
    seems to be supposed, in the opinion of the court, that the
    articles of cession placed it on a different footing from
    territories subsequently acquired. I am unable to perceive the
    force of this distinction. That the ordinance was intended for the
    government of the northwestern territory, and was limited to such
    territory, is admitted. It was extended to southern territories,
    with modifications by acts of Congress, and to some northern
    territories. But the ordinance was made valid by the act of
    Congress, and without such act could have been of no force. It
    rested for its validity on the act of Congress, the same, in my
    opinion, as the Missouri Compromise line.

    "If Congress may establish a territorial government in the
    exercise of its discretion, it is a clear principle that a court
    cannot control that discretion. This being the case, I do not see
    on what ground the act is held to be void. It did not purport to
    forfeit property, or take it for public purposes. It only
    prohibited slavery; in doing which, it followed the ordinance of

In 1840, Judge McLean lost his wife, and in 1843, married his present
wife, Mrs. Sara Bella Gerrard of Cincinnati. In his personal
appearance, Judge McLean is imposing, for he is tall and well
proportioned, and his face is one of the finest among the list of
American jurists. As a judge, he is above reproach; and as a
Christian--he is a member of a Christian church--he has won the
esteem of all who know him in that relation.


Governor Wise is certainly one of the ablest of the southern
democrats. He may lack judgment and that balance of character which
is necessary in the truly great man; but he is a decided genius.
Whatever he has attempted he has accomplished, thus far, from his
wonderful energy and activity. Whether he has reached that bound
in his political triumphs beyond which he cannot pass, remains to
be seen. We will very briefly glance at his past history and his
present views upon the great political issues of the country.

Henry A. Wise was born in Drummond Town, Accomack County, Virginia,
December 3, 1806. He was a precocious lad, for he graduated at
Washington College, Pa., when he was but nineteen years old. He then
studied law, and was admitted to the bar of Winchester, Va., in 1828.
With a western fever in his bones, and desirous of a new field in a
new country, he emigrated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he practised
law for two years. He soon grew homesick for old Virginia, and
returned to Accomack County. The district showed its estimation of the
young man by returning him to Congress in 1833. He continued to
represent it in the House of Representatives for ten years. In 1843,
he resigned his place and took the mission to Brazil. He remained
there for a Presidential term. In 1848, he was a Presidential elector
in Virginia; in 1850, was a member of the Reform Convention which
adopted the present constitution of the State. In 1852, he was again a
Presidential elector, and in 1855 was nominated by his party as their
candidate for Governor. This caucus will always be remembered and will
give him unfading political laurels. The contest was probably one of
the most exciting, close, and bitter, which ever took place, even in
Virginia. The Know Nothings, or Americans, were then in the height of
power and were sanguine of success. Mr. Wise took the stump with the
prophets against him, and in fact with a general impression abroad
that he would be defeated. He carried on the year's canvass as no
other man beside Henry A. Wise could have done it. He bearded
Americanism in its den--forced it upon its own territory--and
triumphed in the popular vote by thousands. However rash and
extravagant his speeches were, he had that overwhelming enthusiasm and
vigor, which carried down all opposition, and placed him in the
Governor's chair.

As a politician, Governor Wise has always been true to the Virginian
school. Rigidly in favor of State rights, and as rigidly opposed to
protective tariffs--in short, bitterly anti-Whig in all his opinions.
On the slavery question, from the outset, he has been ultra
pro-slavery, though he was opposed to the Lecompton policy of Mr.
Buchanan's administration. He has favored internal improvements in
Virginia, and has in this respect differed from Mr. Hunter. This is
the bright feature in Governor Wise's political character. He never
was an old fogy, but is brimful of originality and reform. To see what
is Governor Wise's position on many of the issues of the day, we will
quote a few passages from his letter of January 3, 1859, to Hon. David

    "Now, I have raised my warning of late against this weakness and
    wickedness on our part. I have tried to protect my widowed mother,
    the South, by giving honest filial counsel against the whole
    household. The Reubens have tried to sell me into Egypt for my
    'dreaming.' But I am, nevertheless, loyal to the house of my
    father and loving to my misguided brethren, and I mean to redouble
    my efforts the more to save the house of Israel. If I must be
    driven out as a dreamer, I will, at least, preserve 'mine
    integrity,' and time and the day of famine will show whose counsel
    and whose course will have saved the household and fed it, and all
    the land of the stranger too. Aye; and is democracy as well as the
    South to have no out-spoken, honest counsellor? Are we to be given
    over to the federal gods of Pacific railroads? Are we to
    _out-Yazoo Yazoo_? To out-Adams Adams in putting internal
    improvements by the General Government on the most Omnipotent and
    indefinitely stretching power of all powers of the Federal
    Government--_the war power_? Are we to abolish _ad valorem_ and
    adopt the specific duties to supply a tariff for revenue, the
    standard of which is already eighty-one millions of expenditure on
    three hundred and twenty-one millions average rate of
    importations? Are we to increase eighty-one millions of
    expenditure to the unknown limitless amount required for railroads
    across this continent; for post-offices that don't pay expenses;
    for pensions unheard of in character and amount; for a land office
    which gives away three acres for every one sold, and brings us in
    debt; for increase of a standing army such as our frontiers and
    Indian wars and protectorates of foreign territory propose; and,
    therefore, for such a navy as Isthmian wars with no less than
    eight powers of the earth--England, Spain, France, Mexico,
    Nicaragua, Costa Rica, New Granada, and Paraguay--demand if
    threatened only? Is protection to be turned into prohibition? If
    so, what is a 'direct tax?' Is land tax the only one which can be
    'apportioned?' Are the landowners to pay all the cost of the
    crusade of Congress and manifest destiny? Is strict construction
    and are State rights to be abandoned, and are we to give up State
    corporations to the bankruptcies of a federal commission? Where
    would have been our people and their effects last year if a
    federal power could have put our State banks into a course of
    liquidation under a commission of bankruptcy? Is the South, is any
    portion of our community, in a situation to rush into wars--wars
    invited by the President with three European and five American
    powers? And are we to be a grand consolidated, elective, North and
    South American imperialism? The question is not, 'Will the Union
    be dissolved?' That is a settled question. But the question is,
    'Is the old Virginia democratic faith to be abandoned, and are we
    to rush on with the President into a full scheme of federal policy
    which in its outline and filling up, exceeds any federalism, in
    all its points, which a Hamilton, or Adams, or any other
    latitudinarian, ever dared to project or propose?

    "For my part, I take ground now firmly and at once against the war
    power. I am for the Washington policy of peace, and against all
    entangling alliances and protectorates, and the Jackson rule of
    'demanding nothing but what is right, and submitting to nothing
    that is wrong,' and for preserving and protecting the South and
    whole country from ambitious and buccaneering wars, of which the
    landed and planting interests would have to bear the burden, at a
    great sacrifice of present prosperity. I am against internal
    improvements by the General Government, more than ever since their
    construction is put on the war power. If we could beard England up
    to 54° 40', ten years ago, without a road or known route to
    Oregon, why can't we wait for emigrants to beat a path on their
    way to gold mines, and hold California, without cutting a military
    road in time of peace? I am for retrenchment and reform of all
    expenditures, and for revenue only for economical administration,
    on a scale of pure, old-fashioned republican simplicity,
    discriminating no more than is necessary to prevent prohibition on
    non-dutiable articles. I am for free trade, and the protection it
    affords is demonstrably ample for a people of enterprise and art
    like ours. I am against State-bank bankruptcy, and all sorts of
    bankruptcy whatever. The Federal Government shall never declare
    again that honest debts shall be paid by gulping and oaths, with
    my consent. But my paper is run out.

    "The President bids high. To filibusters he offers Cuba and the
    Isthmus and North Mexico; to the West a Pacific Railroad; to the
    North protection to iron and coarse woollens; and to the great
    commercial countries the power of centralization by obvious uses
    and abuses of a bankrupt act to supply to State banks. Yesterday
    Biddle was a monster, and to-day a few Wall street bankers can
    expand and contract upon us more like a vice than he did; and what
    would they not do if they could force the poor provinces when they
    pleased into bankruptcy?"

In his later letter--to Mr. Samford, of Alabama--Gov. Wise gave his
opinion of the Douglas "non-intervention" doctrine in unmistakable
language. He says:

    "Intervention for protection, by the United States, through
    Congress, is all-pervading. It penetrates into States,
    territories, districts and other places throughout the United
    States, and is one of the most vitally essential attributes of our
    blessed Federal Union. No doctrine could be more repugnant to its
    benign spirit, none more destructive of federal immunities and
    privileges, and none more fatal to State rights and the safety of
    individual persons and their property, than this new light of
    "Non-Intervention" to protect all and everything in the
    jurisdiction of the United States. It is a question which cannot
    be retired from discussion in Congress, where it rises up every
    day in every form, and where it must be met with intelligence,
    integrity and courage. It cannot be renounced or smothered, or the
    Government must relinquish its dominion over every subject of its

    "And this doctrine of 'Non-Intervention for Protection' is only
    equalled in danger and destructiveness by that correlative error
    of some minds in these days: 'That Congress may not intervene to
    protect; for if it has the power to protect, it has the power to
    destroy.' This is a _non sequitur_, and a weak fallacy and gross
    delusion. The power and duty to protect is the power and duty not
    only not to destroy, but something far greater--it is the duty to
    intervene against invasion and violence. The whole American system
    of government throughout is one to protect against destruction.
    Because Congress may and shall provide the writ of habeas corpus,
    trial by jury, freedom of speech or of the press, etc., etc.,
    shall it, therefore, be said to possess the power to withhold,
    deny or destroy either or all of these rights?

    "But, say some, _cui bono_?--if a majority of Congress are opposed
    to the protection of the right, what use is there in claiming the
    mere abstraction of the right? I reply that there is great use and
    practical effect in it too.

    "The proposition of non-intervention is: 'By the Compromise of
    1850, the Kansas Nebraska act, and other declarations of its will,
    Congress renounced the exercise of any direct jurisdiction over
    the territories, and delegated its power to the local
    legislatures.' But it concedes that Congress could bestow no
    authority on the local legislatures of which it was not itself
    possessed'--in other words, "Congress cannot delegate more power
    than it possesses itself; and it has none to prohibit slavery.
    Very well, and so good as to the power. But there is a positive
    duty to be discharged as well as a power not to be exercised.
    Suppose the territorial legislature attempts to prohibit slavery,
    and thus do what Congress itself cannot do in the territories. Has
    Congress renounced its jurisdiction in the case? Could it or can
    it do so? If not, what is its duty? Does non-intervention renounce
    this duty of protection, in such a case, or not? It replies that
    this claim upon Congress to discharge this duty will be vain. Why?
    There is a dead majority against us in Congress, and they will not
    heed the appeal to the legislative department for protection.

    "Well, but the case supposes a like dead majority and an
    aggressive majority against us in the territorial legislature
    too.--What then? There is no refuge of safety from a majority
    against us in territorial legislatures. Non-intervention quickly
    answers this dilemma, by saying: 'let the courts determine between
    us and our adversaries.' This is what is called 'remitting' the
    question to the judiciary, which may decide as well as the
    Congress or the Executive.--True, the judiciary may and must
    decide, anyhow, in either case, for that was no discovery of Mr.
    Calhoun, but a Constitutional function, which has ever belonged to
    the courts, and of which Congress and the Executive and the
    Territorial authorities cannot deprive them; and, without any
    remission by Congress, the judiciary department has the power of
    deciding upon the validity of laws. And it can as well and more
    directly pass upon the validity of laws enacted by Congress itself
    as upon the validity of those enacted by the territorial
    legislatures. If Congress passes an unconstitutional law, we can
    go to the courts, just as easy as if the law was passed by its
    delegate, the territorial Legislature. And if Congress does not
    renounce its direct jurisdiction and delegate it to the
    territorial legislature, then the latter will have no power to
    annoy the slave property locally by its abuse of delegated power;
    and the territorial legislature is more apt to pass a prohibition
    than Congress is, for very obvious reasons. The eye of the whole
    nation is immediately upon Congress, and no positive code is
    required to establish its power and duty to protect persons and
    property. The Constitution itself dictates and enjoins both. And
    it is first of all necessary, that neither the power nor the duty
    shall be practically denied, embarrassed or obstructed, by the
    enactment of unconstitutional laws of prohibition. Positive
    legislation is more apt to be passed against slavery by local than
    by national laws. In any practical view, then, we are attempting
    to shear a lion instead of a wolf. Non-intervention is simply
    absurd and impossible, and it is worse than impracticable.

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "Such are the teachings to me of our past history, and I trust
    that I have now demonstrated in the second place: 'That the
    inhabitants or people of a territory are sovereign to form
    themselves a constitution and State government as I have shown in
    the first place, that in their territorial condition they are
    within the entire control and jurisdiction, or under the entire
    rule or regulation of Congress, subject to the Constitution of the
    United States, and that the citizens of each and all of the States
    are alike equally entitled to protection in all the privileges and
    immunities of persons and property, common to equal confederates.

    "And this right and this duty of protection is not to be evaded or
    avoided either by the false _ad captandum_ clamor that a code is
    required to be enacted by Congress for the protection of slave
    property. This is but to cast odium upon slavery, by creating the
    impression that a discrimination is necessary to distinguish it
    above what is due to other personal and proprietary rights. On the
    contrary, no such code is required to create either the right or
    the duty of protection, and no law is necessary to distinguish
    slave property from any other property. All persons and all
    property, equally and alike, require only not to be assailed and
    destroyed in, or excluded from the common territories. Every
    species of rights requires laws, it is true, suited to its
    character and to its case. Personal property, for example, must
    have a law that it shall not be 'taken and carried away;' and
    land, which cannot be 'taken and carried away,' must have a law
    that it shall not be trespassed upon in some other way; and so
    with slaves and everything else, they must have provisions
    according to their kind. But the Constitution of the United
    States, and the laws of Congress heretofore organizing territories
    are sufficient, and if amendments of the laws are required, it is
    the duty of Congress to see that they are provided, of the
    Executive of the United States to see that they are executed, and
    of the judiciary to decide upon the rights under the laws. The
    slave States should never pretend to any peculiar privileges, and
    do not, so far as I know. They ask only that their rights shall
    not be assailed and invaded, and, if they be assailed, that they
    may be protected as other personal and proprietary rights are
    protected; that they may have equal, confederate, federal
    privileges and immunities, and they ask for no special or peculiar

    "To escape danger or disaster to themselves, your Congress, and
    Executives, and judiciary, and State legislatures, shall not, with
    my consent, be allowed to drop the reins of government and leap
    from the seats of power and responsibility, and renounce the duty
    of protection and preservation to all within their care by the
    ignoring and stultifying and disqualifying plea of
    negation--'_Non-intervention_.' There are too many elements of
    discord in this country which require to be restrained by the most
    active and positive, but prudent intervention. These resolutions
    of Vermont, the tendency of which is either to drive one section
    of the States out of the Union, or to degrade and subjugate them
    in it, are an example. If anything can be worse than disunion to
    the United States, it would be the more dire alternative of
    degrading and subjugating any one State by forcing her submission
    to unequal laws and dishonorable conditions in the confederacy.
    The state or section of states thus subdued and humbled, would be
    unworthy of the union with other free republics, and such a union
    would be no longer what union now is. It should, then, be the
    watchful concern of all to maintain and support the honor,
    dignity, and equality of each; and equality alone can reciprocally
    maintain the strength of all. If first one and then another may be
    subdued, finally all but one will become subject to that one,
    central and consolidated. This should always combine the majority
    of States to support the weaker portion of the Union against the
    very appearance of oppression."

Such is the position of Gov. Wise on the slavery question. He is
radical in his views, demanding the fullest protection from the courts
and Congress for the protection of slavery. The faults as well as the
virtues of Gov. Wise he carries openly in his face; if he is bold and
imprudent, so he is frank and truthful. There is no deceit in him, and
his political enemies know the worst when they know anything of his
views or his course.


Senator Hunter is a contrast, in almost every one of his traits of
character, to Governor Wise. The Governor is voluble--he writes
letters thirty columns long upon the condition of the country. Senator
Hunter is reticent. The Governor is, say his enemies, rash. Mr. Hunter
is cautious and prudent to a fault. Governor Wise, again, is a
reformer in his way--Senator Hunter is set down as an "old fogy" in
politics. Yet both are Democrats, and agree in essentials, as a matter
of course.

Few members of the Senate enjoy to such an extent the respect of the
entire body as Mr. Hunter. His manners, his bearing, his style of
speaking, and his deportment in social circles, are such as to win him
the esteem of all who know him, even in spite of political opposition.

In the Senate, he resembles some quiet unpretending farmer, who might
have come up from a rural district, to sit in a State legislature. He
dresses plain, is dignified without the least particle of pretension;
speaks plainly, slowly, but clearly. Never tries to ride down a
political opponent by declamation, but coolly _argues_ the point of
difference. During the most exciting debates he keeps his temper, and
though in political matters, especially upon the slavery question, he
is ultra-southern in his views, he is so watchful, so prudent, so mild
in his speech, that he contrives to win the esteem of his northern
associates, and to be very popular with them.

Mr. Hunter is a native of Essex County, Va., was liberally educated,
and adopted the law as a profession. His first political experience
was gained in the Virginian State Legislature, where he remained three
years; but in 1837, he was elected to Congress as a member of the
House of Representatives, where he remained four years. In 1845, he
was reëlected to Congress, and was made Speaker of the Twenty-sixth
Congress. In 1847, he was elected United States' Senator, where he
still remains, and has been for years the able Chairman of the Finance

Mr. Hunter's political views are known to the country at large. He is
a southern Democrat, with the views of a southern democratic
politician--anti-tariff, of course--anti-homestead law--in the last
Congress voting in the Senate against bringing up the bill for
consideration. His views on Popular Sovereignty, we will give,
shortly, from his own lips. He supported the Lecompton bill through
thick and thin, though he did it as he does all his work, in a modest,
quiet way, without bluster, or any attempt to intimidate.

In the non-intervention debate of March, 1839, Senator Hunter gave his
views of the question under discussion, in the following language:

"It is with extreme reluctance that I say a word on this subject so
unhappily sprung up on the appropriation bill, of which I stand here
as the guardian, a very insufficient one, as it seems; but the course
of the debate has made it necessary for me, in my own vindication, to
say a word or two in regard to this Nebraska-Kansas act.

    "I differ from the senator from Illinois in regard to the bill,
    the history of its inception, and what was intended by it. As I
    understand it, we stood in this position: the southern senators, I
    believe, almost without an exception, who spoke upon that
    question--I know I did for one, as I have always done from the
    time I first made my appearance on this floor--maintained that the
    South had the right, under the Constitution, of protection of this
    property in the Territories; on the other hand, senators from the
    free States denied that right. None of them would vote to give it
    to us; but there were a portion of the northern democracy who were
    willing to do this; they were willing to repeal the Missouri
    restriction, and establish a territorial government there. A bill
    was immediately drawn which left this right to the territories to
    legislate for the prohibition of slavery in abeyance. It neither
    affirmed nor disaffirmed the power of the territorial legislature
    to legislate upon this subject of slavery; but it provided very
    carefully and cautiously that any question arising out of it might
    be referred to the judiciary....

    The case then stood thus: whilst the southern men maintained on
    one side (and I was amongst them) that they had the right to the
    protection of their property under the Constitution, those from
    the free States maintained the opposite opinion. There could have
    been no accord between them on that point; but the southern men,
    with some objection and reluctance, in order to harmonize, did
    agree, as the only mode of getting the Missouri Compromise
    repealed, if the territorial legislature attempted to exercise the
    power, that the court should decide; and this they could do with
    perfect consistency, because they provided that whatever powers
    were delegated to the territorial legislature should be exercised
    under the Constitution. In their opinion, the Constitution not
    only prohibited Congress from delegating a power to abolish
    slavery to the territories, but from exercising it itself. Whilst
    they maintained that Congress had the power to govern in the
    territories, they maintained that there was an obligation on
    Congress, imposed by the equality of the States, that they should
    not prohibit the institutions of one State while they allowed
    those of another; and that was the mode in which it was passed.
    The bill in itself was, in my opinion, a compromise in which
    neither sacrificed principles, but left the whole question in
    abeyance to be decided by the courts without taking from Congress
    the power to resume jurisdiction, if they should choose to do so
    afterward. They retained as much good as they could without
    raising those questions upon which there could have been no accord
    of opinion.

    "Now, sir, I say it never was understood, so far as I had anything
    to do with the bill, by the southern men who maintained the class
    of opinions of which I am speaking, that they were conferring on
    the territorial legislature the absolute power to deal with this
    subject. They did not; but they were secured to vote for a bill
    which would organize a territorial Legislature which should leave
    this question in abeyance, and this bill decided nothing, but only
    provided that the question should go to the courts, to be decided
    under that jurisdiction.

    "Nor did the bill--although everybody consented to strike out the
    phrase to which the senator from Illinois alludes--nor did the
    bill ever mean to say that Congress absolutely gave up
    jurisdiction over the subject. Inasmuch as it was a common point
    which accomplished good, which repealed what all the branches of
    the Democracy thought unconstitutional--the Missouri
    Compromise--they passed a bill which did that, without deciding
    absolutely on other differences of opinion, but merely providing a
    tribunal to decide them when they should come up."

That Senator Hunter stated the truth in reference to himself is
evident from the subjoined quotation from a speech of his, delivered
during the discussion of the Kansas-Nebraska act in 1854:

    "But it has been often said by those who admit that Congress has
    the power of governing the territories, that it is a power to be
    exercised, not in reference to the rights of the States, but in
    reference to the good and welfare of the people of the
    territories. Now, if in exercising this power we are to be
    confined to the single consideration of the good and welfare of
    the people of the territories, then, I say, the whole subject of
    government ought to be left to the people of the territories. That
    is the true American principle. If the only consideration which is
    to apply to their government be the good and welfare of the people
    of the territories, then they ought to determine all questions in
    regard to their domestic institutions and laws. But, in my
    opinion, the government of these territories ought to be
    administered with the double object of securing the rights of the
    States as well as those of the people of the territories, and to
    these last should be given all the rights of self-government which
    are consistent with the limitation, that they shall not interfere
    with the equal rights of the States, or violate the provisions of
    the Constitution. With those limitations, all the power that could
    possibly be given to the people of that territory, ought to be
    given to them. All that portion of the power which is to be
    exercised with a view to their interests, ought to be exercised as
    they wish it. That, in my opinion, is the true principle.

    "I know we have most high, distinguished, and respectable
    authority for the opinion that the people of the territories have
    a sort of natural right to exercise all power within those
    territories. It is not my purpose to raise an issue upon that
    question. I do not mean to argue it. I do not wish to raise an
    issue with the friends of this bill, with those whom I am
    assisting, and who are assisting me, to pass this measure. Nor
    will I do it unless it should be absolutely necessary, which is
    not now the case. For, happily, the bill is so framed that it can
    be maintained, not only by those who entertain such opinions as I
    have referred to, but by those, also, who entertain opinions like
    my own. The bill provides that the legislatures of these
    territories shall have the power to legislate over all rightful
    subjects of legislation, consistently with the Constitution. And
    if they should assume powers which are thought to be inconsistent
    with the Constitution, the courts will decide that question,
    whenever it may be raised. There is a difference of opinion
    amongst the friends of this measure, as to the extent of the
    limits which the Constitution imposes upon the territorial
    legislatures. This bill proposes to leave these differences to the
    decision of the courts. To that tribunal I am willing to leave
    this decision, as it was once before proposed to be left, by the
    celebrated compromise of the senator from Delaware (Mr. Clayton),
    a measure which, according to my understanding, was the best
    compromise which was offered upon this subject of slavery. I say,
    then, that I am willing to leave this point, upon which the
    friends of this bill are at difference, to the decision of the

This position cannot be misunderstood. It is that the Supreme Court
may overturn the action of territorial legislatures. But does Senator
Hunter advocate, as Governor Wise does, Congressional intervention _to
enforce_ the decisions of the Supreme Court? Upon this point he is
silent; though, from the language he uses, it is evident enough that
as a matter of right he would claim the interference of Congress for
this purpose--but, considering the fact that there is not the
slightest chance that Congress could ever be brought to vote such
protection, he may _as a matter of policy_ relinquish the demand.


Henry Wilson was born on the 16th of February, 1812, at Farmington,
New Hampshire. His parents being poor, with a large family of children
to support by their labor, he, with their consent, at the age of ten
years, apprenticed himself to Mr. William Knight, a farmer of his
native town, a man remarkable for his industry and habits of rigid
economy. He remained with Mr. Knight till the age of twenty-one, and
for these eleven years of incessant toil, he received one yoke of
oxen, and six sheep. During this period, he was annually allowed to
attend the public school four weeks. Throughout these years of
unremitting, severe, and scantily-rewarded toil, he devoted his
Sabbaths, and as much of his evenings as he could command, to reading.
Too poor to purchase lights, he was forced to read by the dim light of
wood fires; and after other members of the family had retired to rest,
though weary with the toils of the day, he spent the hours in reading,
which they employed in sleep. During his apprenticeship, he read more
than seven hundred volumes of history and biography, most of which
were selected and loaned to him by the wife of the Hon. Nehemiah
Eastman, a gentleman who was a member of Congress during the first
years of John Quincy Adams' administration. Mrs. Eastman was the
sister of Hon. Levi Woodbury, and a lady of rare intelligence. To the
judicious kindness of this accomplished lady, who thus early
discovered and appreciated his talents, he was indebted for the means
of acquiring a fund of solid and useful knowledge, and of forming
habits of study and reflection, which have largely contributed to his
subsequent success. To Judge Whitehouse, of his native town, he was
also largely indebted for the use of many valuable books. Poverty and
toil were the companions of his boyhood. His means of mental culture
were very limited, and his education, on attaining his majority, was
very deficient; yet very few young men at the age of twenty-one were
better read in history, especially in the history of the United
States, England, and modern France.

After attaining his majority, Mr. Wilson, for eight months, worked on
a farm, receiving nine dollars a month.

Hoping to better his condition, in December, 1833, he left Farmington,
and, with a pack on his back, made his way, on foot, to the town of
Natick, Massachusetts, his present residence. Here he hired himself to
a shoemaker, who agreed, for five months' service, to teach him the
art of bottoming shoes. At the end of six weeks, Mr. Wilson bought his
time, and went to work on his own account, at which employment he
continued for more than two years, working so hard and incessantly
that his health became seriously injured, and he was at length
compelled to quit for a time the shoemaker's bench; and in May, 1836,
he made a visit to Washington, where he remained for several weeks in
regular attendance upon the debates in Congress. During his stay at
the metropolis, Pinckney's Gag Resolutions were passed by the House of
Representatives, and Calhoun's Incendiary Publication bill passed the
Senate by the casting vote of the Vice-President, Martin Van Buren.
The exciting debates to which he listened during this memorable
period, and the scenes which he witnessed at Williams' slave-pen, to
which he paid a visit, made Henry Wilson an anti-slavery man, and he
returned to New England with the fixed resolution to do all in his
power to advance the anti-slavery cause, and overthrow the influence
of slavery in the nation. How steadily he has adhered to that
resolution, his subsequent career bears ample witness.

From Washington, Mr. Wilson returned to New Hampshire, and entered
Stafford Academy as a student, on the first of July, 1836. In the
autumn of that year, he attended the academy at Wolfsborough; and
during the winter of 1837, taught school in that town. In the spring
of 1837, he entered Concord Academy, where he remained six months.
While there, he was chosen a delegate to the Young Men's Anti-slavery
State Convention, before which body he made his first public speech in
behalf of freedom. In the autumn, he returned to Wolfsborough Academy,
and at the close of the academic term, went again to Natick, Mass.,
where he taught school during the winter of 1837-8. He had intended to
continue for some time longer at school, and to commence a course of
classical studies, but the failure of a friend, to whom he had
intrusted the few hundred dollars his own hands had earned, left him
penniless, and he was compelled to change his plans of life.

In the spring of 1838, he engaged in the shoe manufacturing business,
in which he continued till the autumn of 1848. During these ten years
he annually manufactured from 40,000 to 130,000 pairs of shoes, a
large portion of which he sold to southern merchants. One of his
southern customers, who owed him more than a thousand dollars, having
failed, wrote to him that he could pay him fifty per cent. of his
debt, and asked to be discharged. On examining his statement, Mr.
Wilson found that several slaves were included in his assets. Here was
a question to test his anti-slavery professions. Mr. Wilson promptly
signed the papers discharging him from all obligations, and wrote to
him, never to send him a dollar of the dividend if it included the
money received for slaves.

In November, 1839, Mr. Wilson was a candidate for representative to
the legislature from the town of Natick, but being a zealous
temperance man, and an advocate of the fifteen-gallon law, he was
defeated by the opponents of that measure. In the spring of 1840, he
took the stump for General Harrison, and during that memorable
campaign, made upward of sixty speeches. In 1840, he was married to
Miss Harriet M. Howe, of Natick. In 1840, and again in 1841, the
people of Natick elected him their representative to the legislature.
In 1842, he was a candidate for the State Senate, for Middlesex
County, but in that year the Whig ticket was defeated. The next year,
however, and in that following, 1844, he was chosen senator.

During the session of 1845, the State was deeply agitated by the
discussion of the annexation of Texas. In February of that year, a
State convention was called to be held in Faneuil Hall, to protest
against the annexation. Mr. Wilson drew up the paper calling the
convention, for the signatures of the members of the legislature, and
applied to every Whig member for his name. The president of the
Senate, Hon. Levi Lincoln, and other Whig members, refused to sign the
call. Mr. Abbot Lawrence, Mr. Nathan Appleton, Mr. John Davis, Mr.
Winthrop, and other eminent Whigs also declined to unite in, or to
approve the movement. This was the beginning of that division among
the Whigs of Massachusetts on the slavery question, which resulted in
an open rupture in 1848, and finally in the utter overthrow of that
great and powerful party in Massachusetts.

In September, 1845, Mr. Wilson got up a call for a mass convention, in
Middlesex County, to oppose the admission of Texas as a slave State.
The call was responded to by the people, and at an adjourned meeting
in Cambridge, over which Mr. Wilson presided, a state committee was
appointed, composed of men of all parties, to procure signatures to
petitions against the admission of Texas. Sixty-five thousand names
were procured in a few weeks, and Henry Wilson and John G. Whittier
were appointed to carry the petitions to Washington.

In the autumn of 1845, Mr. Wilson declined being a candidate for the
Senate, and was chosen Representative from the town of Natick. In the
legislature he introduced a resolution announcing the unalterable
hostility of Massachusetts to the further extension and longer
existence of slavery in America, and her fixed determination to use
all constitutional and legal means for its extinction. In spite of the
coldness and opposition of several leading Whigs, this resolution was
adopted by ninety-three majority in the House, but was lost in the
Senate by four votes. Mr. Wilson made an elaborate speech in its
behalf, and Mr. Garrison, in the "Liberator," pronounced it the
fullest and most comprehensive speech upon the slavery question, ever
made in any legislative body in this country. In 1846, Mr. Wilson
declined to be again a candidate for the legislature.

In 1843, the officers of the First Regiment of Artillery elected Mr.
Wilson its Major without his knowledge. He accepted the position, and
in June, 1846, he was chosen Colonel, and was elected Brigadier
General of the Third Brigade in August, which position he continued to
hold for five years.

In March, 1848, a Whig district convention was held at Dedham, to
nominate a candidate for Congress to fill the vacancy occasioned by
the death of John Quincy Adams. Henry Wilson, Horace Mann, and William
Jackson, were the leading candidates. After three ballotings Mr.
Wilson declined being considered a candidate, and Mr. Mann was
nominated. The convention, at the same time, by an almost unanimous
vote, elected Mr. Wilson a delegate to the National Whig Convention.
That the vote was not unanimous was owing to the fact that he had
stated in public and in private that if General Taylor should be fixed
upon by the Whig party as its candidate, unpledged to the Wilmot
Proviso, he not only would not support him, but would do all in his
power to defeat him.

When General Taylor was nominated, and the Wilmot Proviso voted down
by the Whig National Convention, in June, 1848, General Wilson, and
his colleague, Hon. Charles Allen, denounced the action of the
convention, and left it. Gen. Wilson then got up a meeting of a few
northern men, which was held in the evening, to consider what steps
should be taken.

Gen. Wilson called the meeting to order, and after stating its
purposes, moved the appointment of a committee to call a convention of
the opponents of the Slave Power. The committee was accordingly
appointed, and united with others in calling the Buffalo Convention,
which nominated Mr. Van Buren and Mr. Chas. Francis Adams.

In the summer of 1848, General Wilson purchased the "Boston
Republican" a free-soil newspaper, which he edited from January, 1849,
to January, 1851, during which two years he gave his whole time to the
free-soil cause, and spent more than seven thousand dollars of his own
property, in the support of the newspaper, whose continued existence
was deemed essential to the welfare of the party of which it was the
organ. In 1849, he was chosen chairman of the Free-soil State
Committee, in which capacity he acted for four years. In the fall of
1849, a coalition was formed between the free-soilers, and the
Democrats of Middlesex County, for the election of senators, and
General Wilson was pressed by both parties to stand as a candidate for
the Senate, which he steadfastly refused to do. He was, however, in
that year, chosen a representative from the town of Natick. When the
legislature met, he was unanimously nominated by the free-soilers, as
their candidate for Speaker. During the session, he was in his seat
every day, always attentive to business.

After Mr. Webster made his seventh of March speech, an effort was made
to instruct him to vote for the doctrines embodied in the resolutions
pending before the legislature; but the proposition was resisted, and
voted down by the Whig majority. General Wilson told the House that
the people would repudiate that speech, and the men who indorsed it,
and that at the coming election, the men who had deserted the cause of
freedom would be crushed by the people. This prediction, which was
received with defiance by the Whig leaders, was fulfilled, and no one
in Massachusetts contributed more to its fulfillment than the man who
made it.

In the summer of 1850, General Wilson called together, at the Adams
House in Boston, the State Committee, and the leading men of the
free-soil party, to the number of about seventy. He stated to the
meeting that the people would make a coalition; that it would be
successful if the committee would aid it; that Mr. Webster's seventh
of March speech could be rebuked; the Fillmore administration
condemned; a free-soiler sent to the United States Senate in place of
Mr. Webster for the long term; and an anti-compromise Democrat for the
short term; and in short, that by a coalition, Massachusetts could be
placed in such a position that the anti-slavery men could control her
policy. After a debate of five hours, in which Messrs. Marcus Morton,
Samuel Hoar, J. G. Palfrey, C. F. Adams, R. H. Dana, Jr., and others
took part, the meeting declined to sanction the coalition, only nine
gentlemen, and they the youngest present, advocating the coalition.
The people, however, made it, in spite of the disapprobation of the
eminent men, and the State was carried against the Whigs, and Geo. S.
Boutwell made Governor, and Charles Sumner and Robert Rantoul sent to
the United States Senate.

In 1850, General Wilson was unanimously nominated for senator from
Middlesex County by the free-soil and Democratic conventions, and
elected by twenty-one hundred majority. When the legislature met, he
was chosen President of the Senate. In 1851, he was reëlected and
again chosen president. While President of the Senate, he was made
Chairman of the Committee to welcome President Fillmore to
Massachusetts, and also Chairman of the Committee to welcome Kossuth.

In 1852, he was a delegate to the free-soil National Convention at
Pittsburg, and was selected to preside over that body, and also made
Chairman of the National Free-soil Committee. In the same year, he was
unanimously nominated for Congress by the free-soilers of the eighth
district, and, although the majority against the free-soilers in that
district exceeded seventy-five hundred, he failed of an election by
only ninety-three votes. A large portion of the free-soilers desired
him that year to be a candidate for Governor, and most of the
coalition Democrats likewise desired his nomination. In a public
letter he peremptorily declined to be a candidate, notwithstanding
which he received more than a third of the votes of the Free-soil
State Convention at Lowell.

In March, 1853, General Wilson was elected to the Constitutional
Convention by the town of Berlin, and also by his own town of Natick.
He was not absent from the convention for an hour during the session,
and the journal and report of the debates show the active part taken
by him in its transactions. During the temporary illness of the
president, Mr. Banks, he was chosen president _pro tem_. In September,
1853, he was nominated by the Free Democratic State Convention, as
candidate for the office of Governor. Out of six hundred votes cast by
the convention, he received all but three. At the time he was
nominated, men of all parties conceded the probability of his
election. But the letter of Caleb Cushing, denouncing, in behalf of
the administration, the coöperation of Democrats and free-soilers in
State affairs--the bitter hostility of conservatism toward the new
constitution, and the Irish vote against it--all contributed to
overthrow the State reform party, and to defeat General Wilson and his

When the proposition was made in 1854 to abrogate the Missouri
Compromise, the country was profoundly excited, and the opponents of
slavery extension in all parties hoped to bring about the union of men
who were ready to resist the slave-power. Believing that the time had
come to effect the union of men who were opposed to the Kansas
Nebraska Act, Gen. Wilson labored with unflagging zeal to accomplish
that result, and for that end he visited Washington, in May, and
consulted with the opponents of the bill, to repeal the prohibition of
slavery in Kansas and Nebraska. Returning home, he avowed in the
Free-soil State Convention, assembled in Boston on the 31st of May,
the readiness of the free-soilers to abandon their organization,
everything but their principles, to bring about the union of men who
were ready to crush out the members from the North who had betrayed
the people, and to sustain the faithful men of all parties who had
been true to principle, and who were ready to resist hereafter the
policy of the slavery propagandists. Speaking for the men of the
free-soil party, he said they "were ready to go into the rear;" if a
forlorn hope was to be led, they would lead it; they would toil;
others might take the lead, hold the offices, and win the honors. The
hour had come to form one great Republican party, which should
hereafter guide the policy and control the destinies of the Republic.
A State Convention was called at Worcester on the 10th of August, with
the view of uniting the people in one organization, and Gen. Wilson
addressed the people in all sections of the State in favor of the
fusion, in which he assured men of all political creeds that the men
of the free-soil party would gladly yield to others the lead and the
honors; all they asked was the acceptance of their doctrines of
perpetual hostility to the aggressive policy of the slave power. But
the leaders of the Whig party in Massachusetts, then in the pride of
power, resisted all attempts to unite the people, and the convention
at Worcester, on the 10th of August, failed to accomplish that decided
result. Gen. Wilson, and other members of the free-soil party at this
convention, again avowed their desire for union, for the sake of the
cause of freedom, and their readiness to yield to men of other
parties, everything but principle. The people desired fusion, and in
spite of the efforts of the Whig leaders, they rushed into the
councils of the American organization to effect that object. Gen.
Wilson, finding that all efforts to unite the people in the Republican
movement had been defeated by men who had personal ends to secure,
urged his friends to unite in that rising organization, liberalize its
platform and action, and make it a party for freedom. With the view of
bringing about harmonious action among men who desired to unite the
people, he accepted the nomination of the Republican party for
Governor, and exerted every effort to conciliate and bring together
men in favor of organizing a great party of freedom. Some of his
political friends doubted the wisdom of his policy, as they did in
1850 the wisdom of the coalition with the Democrats; but that
coalition placed Rantoul and Sumner in the Senate of the United
States, and this union largely contributed to the influence of
anti-slavery men, enabling them to choose a delegation to Congress, of
true men, a majority of whom were free-soilers, and to elect the most
radical anti-slavery legislature ever chosen in America.

In the elections of 1854, the Americans had in the free States
coöperated with men of other parties in opposition to the pro-slavery
policy of the Administration. But in November of that year, a national
council assembled at Cincinnati, and through the management of
southern men, anxious to win local power, and corrupt and weak
politicians from the North, hungry for place, the American
organization was placed in an equivocal attitude on the slavery
question. The work of treachery to freedom commenced, and men who had
labored to combine the opponents of slavery in one organization, as
Gen. Wilson had done, were marked for swift destruction, and men who
were ready to compromise away the cause of freedom, were to be the
trusted leaders of the now nationalized American party.

The legislature of Massachusetts, which assembled in January, 1855,
had to choose a United States senator in place of Mr. Everett, who had
resigned and whose term expired on the 3d of March, 1859. General
Wilson had publicly and privately declared that the slavery question
was with him the paramount question, and in the spring and summer of
1854, while a member of the American organization, he had at all times
openly labored to unite men of all parties for freedom. He had taken
this position, and his declared opinions and acts were well known in
and out of his State, and the men who were ready to sacrifice the
anti-slavery cause, to adhere to the compromising policy of the past,
were bitterly hostile to his elevation to the Senate. But the
anti-slavery men in and out of the State were enthusiastic in his
support. He was nominated in the caucus of the members of the
legislature, by more than one hundred majority on the first ballot.
While the election was pending, several gentlemen representing that
portion of the party who wished to nationalize the organization,
called upon him, and urged him to write something to modify his
recorded opinions, and thus give the men who claimed to be national
men, an opportunity to assent to his elevation. In answer to this
request, he said he had not travelled a single mile, expended a single
dollar, nor conversed with a single member to secure votes for his
election;--that his opinions upon the slavery questions were the
matured convictions of his life, and that he would not qualify them to
win the loftiest position on earth. If elected, he should carry these
opinions with him into the Senate, and if the party with which he
acted proved recreant to freedom, he would, if he had the power,
shiver it to atoms. His position was distinctly avowed and fully
comprehended, and he was opposed to the end by members who dissented
from his principles, and supported and chosen by men who concurred
with him in opinion and policy. He received 234 to 130 votes in the
House of Representatives, and 21 to 19 votes in the Senate, and took
his seat in the Senate of the United States on the 8th of February,

When he arrived in Washington, leading politicians were assembled
there from the South, endeavoring to organize a National American
party, which should ignore the slavery issues, and contest the
supremacy of the Democracy in the South. In his speech at Springfield,
before the State Council, he thus described the efforts made to seduce
him to assent to this policy:

    "On my arrival at Washington, I saw at a glance that the
    politicians of the South--men who had deserted their northern
    associates upon the Nebraska issue, were resolved to impose upon
    the American party by the aid of doughfaces from New York and
    Pennsylvania, as the test of nationality, fidelity to the slave
    power. Flattering words from veteran statesmen were poured into my
    ears--flattering appeals were made to me to aid in the work of
    nationalizing the party whose victories in the South were to be as
    brilliant as they had been in the North. But I resolved that upon
    my soul the sin and shame of silence or submission should never
    rest. I returned home, determined to baffle if I could the
    meditated treason to freedom and to the North."

Two weeks after taking his seat, he addressed the senate upon Mr.
Toucey's "bill to protect persons executing the fugitive slave act,
from prosecution by State courts." Extracts from this speech show that
his sentiments had undergone no change in Washington, under the
pressing influences of political leaders:

    "Now, sir, I assure senators from the South, that we of the free
    States mean to change our policy--I tell you, frankly, just how we
    feel and just what we propose to do. We mean to withdraw from
    these halls that class of public men who have betrayed us and
    deceived you; men who have misrepresented us, and not dealt
    frankly with you. And we intend to send men into these halls who
    will truly represent us and deal justly with you. We mean, sir, to
    place in the councils of the nation men who, in the words of
    Jefferson, 'have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility to
    every kind of oppression of the mind and body of man.' Yes, sir,
    we mean to place in the national councils men who cannot be
    seduced by the blandishments, or deterred by the threats of power;
    men who will fearlessly maintain our principles. I assure senators
    from the South that the people of the North entertain for them and
    their people no feelings of hostility; but they will no longer
    consent to be misrepresented by their own representatives, nor
    proscribed for their fidelity to freedom. This determination of
    the people of the North has manifested itself during the past few
    months in acts not to be misread by the country. The stern rebuke
    administered to faithless northern representatives, and the
    annihilation of old and powerful political organizations, should
    teach senators that the days of waning power are upon them. This
    action of the people teaches the lesson, which I hope will be
    heeded, that political combinations can no longer be successfully
    made to suppress the sentiments of the people. We believe we have
    the power to abolish slavery in all the territories of the Union;
    that, if slavery exists there, it exists by the permission and
    sanction of the Federal Government, and we are responsible for it.
    We are in favor of its abolition wherever we are morally or
    legally responsible for its existence.

    "I believe conscientiously, that if slavery should be abolished by
    the National Government in the District of Columbia, and in the
    territories, the fugitive slave act repealed, the Federal
    Government relieved from all connection with, or responsibility
    for the existence of slavery, these angry debates banished from
    the halls of Congress, and slavery left to the people of the
    States, that the men of the South who are opposed to the existence
    of that institution, would get rid of it in their own States at no
    distant day. I believe that if slavery is ever peacefully
    abolished in this country--and I certainly believe it will be--it
    must be abolished in this way.

    "The senator from Indiana [Mr. Pettit] has made a long argument
    to-night to prove the inferiority of the African race. Well, sir,
    I have no contest with the senator upon that question. I do not
    claim for that race intellectual equality; but I say to the
    senator from Indiana that I know men of that race who are quite
    equal in mental power to either the senator from Indiana or
    myself--men who are scarcely inferior, in that respect, to any
    senators upon this floor. But, sir, suppose the senator from
    Indiana succeeds in establishing the inferiority of that despised
    race, is mental inferiority a valid reason for the perpetual
    oppression of a race? Is the mental, moral, or physical
    inferiority of a man a just cause of oppression in republican and
    Christian America? Sir, is this Democracy? Is it Christianity?
    Democracy cares for the poor, the lowly, the humble. Democracy
    demands that the panoply of just and equal laws shall shield and
    protect the weakest of the sons of men. Sir, these are strange
    doctrines to hear uttered in the Senate of republican America,
    whose political institutions are based upon the fundamental idea
    that 'all men are created equal.' If the African race is inferior,
    this proud race of ours should educate and elevate it, and not
    deny to those who belong to it the rights of our common humanity.

    "The senator from Indiana boasts that his State imposes a fine
    upon the white man that gives employment to the free black man. I
    am not surprised at the degradation of the colored people of
    Indiana, who are compelled to live under such inhuman laws, and
    oppressed by the public sentiment that enacts and sustains them. I
    thank God, sir, Massachusetts is not dishonored by such laws! In
    Massachusetts we have about seven thousand colored people. They
    have the same rights that we have; they go to our free schools,
    they enter all the business and professional relations of life,
    they vote in our elections, and in intelligence and character are
    scarcely inferior to the citizens of this proud and peerless race
    whose superiority we have heard so vauntingly proclaimed to-night
    by the senators from Tennessee and Indiana."

Returning home at the close of the session, he warned his personal
friends and political associates that the American organization, which
had acted with the anti-Nebraska men in the North, was to be seduced
by the South, and betrayed by men in the North, who assumed to control
its actions. On the 8th of May, he delivered an address before a
large assemblage in the Metropolitan Theatre in New York, upon the
development of the anti-slavery sentiment in America for twenty years,
from 1835 to 1855. On this occasion he declared that:

    "He owed it to truth to speak what he knew--that the anti-slavery
    cause was in extreme peril--that a demand was made upon us of the
    North to ignore the slavery question, to keep quiet, and go into
    power in 1856. If there were men in the free States who hoped to
    triumph in 1856 by ignoring the slavery issues now forced upon the
    nation by the slave propagandists, he would say to them, that the
    anti-slavery men cannot be reduced or driven into the organization
    of a party that ignores the question of slavery in Christian and
    Republican America. Let such men read and ponder the history of
    the Republic; let them contrast anti-slavery in 1835 and
    anti-slavery in 1855. Those periods are the grand epochs in the
    anti-slavery movement, and the contrast between them cannot fail
    to give us some faint conception of the mighty changes that twenty
    years of anti-slavery agitation have wrought in America.
    Anti-slavery in 1835 was in the nadir of its weakness;
    anti-slavery in 1855 is in the zenith of its power. Then, a few
    unknown, nameless men were its apostles and leaders; now, the most
    profound and accomplished intellects of America are its chiefs and
    champions. Then, a few proscribed and humble followers rallied
    around its banner; now, it has laid its grasp upon the conscience
    of the people, and hundreds of thousands rally under the folds of
    its flag. Then, not a single statesman in all America accepted its
    doctrines or defended its measures; now, it has a decisive
    majority in the national House of Representatives, and is rapidly
    changing the complexion of the American Senate. Then, every State
    in the Union was arrayed against it; now, it controls fifteen
    sovereign States by more than 300,000 popular majority. Then, the
    public press covered it with ridicule and contempt; now, the most
    powerful journals in America are its instruments. Then, the
    benevolent, religious and literary institutions of the land
    repulsed its advances, rebuked its doctrines and persecuted its
    advocates; now, it shapes, molds and fashions them at its
    pleasure, compelling the most powerful benevolent organizations of
    the western world, upon whose mission stations the sun never sets,
    to execute its decrees, and the oldest literary institution in
    America to cast from its bosom a professor who had surrendered a
    man to the slave hunters. Then, the political organizations
    trampled disdainfully upon it; now, it looks down with the pride
    of conscious power upon the wrecked political fragments that float
    at its feet. Then, it was impotent and powerless; now it holds
    every political organization in the hollow of its right hand.
    Then, the public voice sneered at and defied it; now it is the
    master of America and has only to be true to itself to grasp the
    helm and guide the ship of State hereafter in her course."

"This brief contrast," he said, "would show the men who hoped to win
power by ignoring the transcendent issue of our age in America, how
impotent would be the efforts of any class of men to withdraw the
mighty questions involved in the existence and expansion of slavery on
this continent, from the consideration of the people." To the idea of
going into power by sacrificing the anti-slavery cause, he replied:

    "Now, gentlemen, I say to you frankly, I am the last man to object
    to going into power [laughter], and especially to going into power
    over the present dynasty that is fastened upon the country. But I
    am the last man that will consent to go into power by ignoring or
    sacrificing the slavery question. [Applause.] If my voice could be
    heard by the whole country to-night--by the anti-slavery men of
    the country to-night of all parties, I would say to them, resolve
    it--write it over your door-posts--engrave it on the lids of your
    Bibles--proclaim it at the rising of the sun and the going down
    of the sun, and in the broad light of noon, that any party in
    America, be that party Whig, Democratic, or American, that lifts
    its finger to arrest the anti-slavery movement, to repress the
    anti-slavery sentiment, or proscribe the anti-slavery men, it
    surely shall begin to die--[loud applause]--it would deserve to
    die; it will die; and by the blessing of God I shall do what
    little I can to make it die."

This address was repeated in Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell,
Dorchester, and other places in Massachusetts, and General Wilson
was branded as an agitator, traitor, and disorganizer, by men who had
been for six months secretly and darkly intriguing to betray the
liberty-loving men who had given the American organization power
in the free States. This feeling of hostility was heightened by
the publication of his speech, delivered on the 16th of May, at
Brattleborough, Vt., "On the position and duty of the American
party." In this speech he said that

    "The time has come for the advocates of the American movement
    distinctly to define their principles and their policy.

    "If the American party is to achieve anything for good, it must
    adopt a wise and humane policy consistent with our Democratic
    ideas--a policy which will reform existing abuses and guard
    against future ones--which shall combine in one harmonious
    organization moderate and patriotic men who love freedom and hate
    oppression. Upon the grand and overshadowing question of American
    slavery, the American party must take its position. If it wishes a
    speedy death and a dishonored grave, let it adopt the policy of
    neutrality upon that question or the policy of ignoring that
    question. If that party wishes to live, to impress its policy upon
    the nation, it must repudiate the sectional policy of slavery and
    stand boldly upon the broad and national basis of freedom. It must
    accept the position that 'Freedom is national and slavery is
    sectional.' It must stand upon the national idea embodied in the
    Declaration of Independence--that 'all men are created equal, and
    have an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of
    happiness.' It must accept these words as embracing the great
    central national idea of America, fidelity to which is national in
    New England and in South Carolina. It must recognize the doctrine
    that the Constitution of the United States was made 'to secure the
    blessing of liberty,'--that Congress has no right to make a slave
    or allow slavery to exist outside of the slave States, and that
    the Federal Government must be relieved from all connection with,
    and responsibility for slavery.

    "In their own good time the Americans of Massachusetts have spoken
    for themselves. They have placed that old Commonwealth face to
    face to the slave oligarchy and its allies. Upon their banner they
    have written in letters of living light the words, 'No exclusion
    from the public schools on account of race or color.'--'No slave
    commissioners on the judicial bench.'--'No slave States to be
    carved out of Kansas and Nebraska.'--'The repeal of the
    unconstitutional fugitive slave act of 1850.'--'An act to protect
    personal liberty.' The men who have inscribed these glowing words
    upon their banner will go into the conflicts of the future like
    the Zouaves at Inkermann, 'with the light of battle on their
    faces,'--and if defeat comes, they will fall with their 'backs to
    the field, and their feet to the foe.'"

Early in June, 1855, the American National Council assembled at
Philadelphia. General Wilson was a delegate, and his position in the
Senate, and his avowed sentiments, opinions and policy, brought him at
once into conflict with the men in and out of the council, who were
intriguing to make the American organization an instrument of the
slave power. An attempt was made to keep him out of the council, on
account of the sentiments he had expressed, and to draw off the
Massachusetts delegation from him; but they stood by him, and thus
baffled the designs of the plotters. On taking his seat in the
council, he was at once recognized by friends and foes as the leader
of the North--the representative of the anti-slavery men of the free
States. The National Council sat for more than one week, and during
that time it was the scene of stormy, exciting and angry discussion
upon the slavery question. Early in the debate, a delegate from
Virginia made a fierce personal attack upon him, quoting from his
speeches, and denouncing him as the leader of the anti-slavery men of
the North, who had come into the council to rule or to destroy.
General Wilson promptly replied to this assault, and defiantly told
the delegate from Virginia and his compeers, that "his threats had no
terrors for free men--that he was then and there ready to meet
argument with argument--scorn with scorn--and if need, be, blow with
blow, for God had given him an arm ready and able to protect his head!
It was time the champions of slavery in the South should realize the
fact, that the past was theirs--the future ours." The debate went on,
and on the 12th of June, General Wilson made an elaborate speech in
reply to the assaults made upon the North and upon the anti-slavery
men, by both southern and northern delegates. To the assaults made
upon Massachusetts by some of the delegates from New York, he said:
"When Massachusetts pleads to any arraignment before the nation, she
will demand that her accusers are competent to draw the bill." To the
men of the South who had denounced the action of Massachusetts, he

    "But gentlemen of talents and of character have undertaken here to
    arraign Massachusetts. To those gentlemen I have to say, that
    Massachusetts means to go to the very verge of her constitutional
    powers, to protect the personal rights of her people! She means
    to exercise her constitutional rights, for the security of
    the liberties of her people, against what she deems to be
    unconstitutional, inhuman and unchristian legislation; and I tell
    you frankly, if any constitutional powers are in doubt, she will
    construe them in favor of liberty; not in favor of slavery. In the
    future, if she errs at all, in the interpretation of her reserved
    rights, as a sovereign State, I trust she will go a little beyond
    the limits of State sovereignty, rather than fall short of
    marching up to those limits. The personal liberties of her people
    demand that she should do so.

    "Massachusetts has the right, if she chooses, to remove from her
    judicial bench, any officers who shall consent to perform the
    duties imposed upon United States commissioners. She denies your
    right, gentlemen, to arraign her here or elsewhere for the
    exercise of her own constitutional powers. By the decision of the
    Supreme Court of the United States, Massachusetts has a right to
    forbid the use of her prisons--she has a right to forbid her
    officers from engaging in the extradition of fugitives from labor.
    She believes that every human being within her limits, has a right
    to the benefits of the writ of _habeas corpus_, and to a jury
    trial. She proposes to test the question by the judicial
    authorities. Her 'offence hath that extent, no more.'
    Massachusetts stands upon the State rights doctrines of Virginia
    and Kentucky, of 1798 and 1799. She raises no standard of
    nullification or rebellion--she will submit to the decisions of
    those tribunals authorized to expound the judicial powers of the

    "The gentleman from Alabama (Judge Hopkins), has hinted to us that
    the Southern States may find it necessary to protect themselves
    against this action of Massachusetts, by legislation that shall
    touch her material interests. Threats of that kind, sir, have no
    terrors for Massachusetts. Her people will laugh to scorn all such
    idle threats, by whomsoever made. Massachusetts, with one million
    of intelligent people, with free schools, free churches, free
    labor, is competent to take care of her own material interests.
    'Her goods are for sale--not her principles.' If gentlemen from
    the South expect to intimidate Massachusetts by such threats, I
    tell them here and now, that we scorn, spurn and defy your

Of the proposed national platform he said:

    "The adoption of this platform commits the American party
    unconditionally to the policy of slavery--to the iron dominion of
    the Black Power. I tell you, sir, I tell this convention, that we
    cannot stand upon this platform in a single free State of the
    North. The people of the North will repudiate it, spurn it, spit
    upon it. For myself, sir, I here and now tell you to your faces,
    that I will trample with disdain on your platform. I will not
    support it. I will support no man who stands upon it. Adopt that
    platform, and you array against you everything that is pure and
    holy--everything that has the elements of permanency in it--the
    noblest pulsations of the human heart--the holiest convictions of
    the human soul--the profoundest ideas of the human intellect and
    the attributes of Almighty God! Your party will be withered and
    consumed by the blasting breath of the people's wrath! There is an
    old Spanish proverb, which says that 'the feet of the avenging
    deities are shod with wool.' Softly and silently these avenging
    deities are advancing upon you. You will find that 'the mills of
    God grind slowly, but they grind to powder.'

    "When I united with the American organization in March, 1854, in
    its hour of weakness--I told the men with whom I acted that my
    anti-slavery opinions were the matured convictions of years, and
    that I would not modify or qualify my opinions or suppress my
    sentiments for any consideration on earth. From that hour to this,
    in public and in private, I have freely uttered my anti-slavery
    sentiments, and labored to promote the anti-slavery cause, and I
    tell you now, that I will continue to do so. You shall not
    proscribe anti-slavery principles, measures or men, without
    receiving from me the most determined and unrelenting hostility.
    It is a painful thing to differ from our associates and
    friends--but when duty, a stern sense of duty, demands it, I shall
    do so. Reject this majority platform--adopt the proposition to
    restore freedom to Kansas and Nebraska, and to protect the actual
    settlers from violence and outrage--simplify your rules--make an
    open organization--banish all bigotry and intolerance from your
    ranks--place your movement in harmony with the humane progressive
    spirit of the age, and you may win and retain power, and elevate
    and improve the political character of the country. Adopt this
    majority platform--commit the American movement to the slave
    perpetualists and the slave propagandists, and you will go down
    before the burning indignation and withering scorn of American

But the pro-slavery platform was adopted, and most of the delegates
from the North retired from the National Council. A meeting was at
once held, over which General Wilson presided. This meeting adopted a
protest against the action of the council, and announced their final
separation from the national organization. The American organization
was shivered to atoms, and no man contributed more to that result than
General Wilson; and in doing it he but redeemed the words he had
uttered while his election to the Senate was pending. The New York
"Tribune," referring to the action of the council, said:

    "The antecedents of Mr. Wilson naturally made him the particular
    object of hostility to the slave-drivers in the convention; and
    one of the earliest displays after the body was organized, was a
    grossly personal attack upon him by a delegate from Virginia. But
    the assailants had now met an antagonist who was not to be cowed
    or silenced, and the response they received was of a character to
    induce them not to repeat their experiment. We have the unanimous
    testimony of many northern members of the convention to the signal
    gallantry and effect of Mr. Wilson's bearing, and to the bold,
    virile and telling eloquence of his speeches. While all have done
    so well in bringing about results so gratifying, it may be
    invidious to particularize; but a few names among the northern
    members, who were devoted from the start to the work of creating a
    unity and a strength of _northern back-bone_, should justly be
    exposed to the public appreciation and honor that they deserve.
    First stands Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, preëminent as the
    leader in the whole movement. He was handsomely sustained by all
    his associates, and the numerous insidious efforts of the enemy to
    separate them from him, only attached them the more closely to his
    side. He has the highest honor in this contest, exhibited the
    greatest political ability, and broke down many strong prejudices
    against him, both among Massachusetts men who were witnesses to
    his conduct, and among the delegates of the other States, North
    and South. No man went into that council with more elements of
    distrust and opposition combined against him; no one goes out of
    it with such an enviable fame, or such an aggregation to his
    honor. He is worthy of Massachusetts, and worthy to lead the new
    movement of the people of that State, which the result here so
    fitly inaugurates."

General Wilson, during the summer and autumn of 1855, visited thirteen
States, travelled more than twenty thousand miles, consulted with
leading men of all parties, and addressed tens of thousands of people
in favor of the fusion of men of all parties for freedom. In the State
council of the Americans of Massachusetts, at Springfield, on the 7th
of August, he made an elaborate speech on the "necessity of the fusion
of parties," in which he invoked the members to sustain the resolution
announcing the readiness of the Americans "to unite and coöperate
with" men of other parties, in forming a great party of freedom. On
that occasion he said:

    "The gathering hosts of northern freemen, of every party and
    creed, are banding together to resist the aggressive policy of the
    Black Power. Freedom, patriotism, and humanity demand the union of
    the freemen of the Republic, for the sake of liberty now perilled.
    Religion sanctions and blesses it.

    "How and where stands Massachusetts? Shall she range herself in
    line, front to the Black Power, with her sister States? or shall
    she maintain the fatal position of isolation? Here and now, we,
    the chosen representatives of the American party of this
    Commonwealth, are to meet that issue, to solve that problem.

    "The American party of Massachusetts, dashing other organizations
    into powerless fragments, had grasped the reins of power, placed
    an unbroken delegation in Congress pledged to the policy of
    freedom, ranged this ancient Commonwealth front to front with the
    slave power, and written, with the iron pen of history, upon her
    statutes, declarations of principles and pledges of acts hostile
    to the aggressive policy of the slaveholding power. When the Black
    Power of the imperious South, aided by the servile power of the
    faltering North, imposed upon the national American organization
    its principles, measures and policy, the representatives of the
    American party of this Commonwealth, spurned the unhallowed
    decrees, turned their backs, forever, upon that prostituted
    organization, and their action received the approving sanction of
    this State council by a vote approaching unanimity. The American
    party, as a national organization, is broken and shivered to
    atoms. By its own act the American party of Massachusetts has
    severed itself from all connection with that product of southern
    domination and northern submission.

    "The American party of Massachusetts has, during its brief
    existence, uttered true words and performed noble deeds for
    freedom. The past at least is secure. Whatever may have been its
    errors of omission or commission, the slave and the slave's
    friends will never reproach it. Holding, as it does, the reins of
    power, it has now a glorious opportunity to give to the country
    the magnanimous example of a great and dominant party, in the full
    possession of consummated power, freely yielding up that power,
    for the holy cause of freedom, to the equal possession of other
    parties, who are willing to coöperate with it upon a common
    platform. Here and now, we, its representatives, are to show by
    our acts whether we can rise above the demands of partisan policy,
    to the full comprehension of the condition of public affairs--to
    the full realization of the obligations which fidelity to freedom
    now imposes upon us.

    "If the representatives of the American party reject this
    proposition for fusion, I shall go home once more with a sad
    heart--but I shall not go home to sulk in my tent--to rail and
    fret at the folly of men; I shall go home, sir, with a resolved
    spirit and iron will, determined to hope on and to struggle on,
    until I see the lovers of universal and impartial freedom banded
    together in one organization--moved by one impulse. For seven
    years I have labored to break up old organizations, and to make
    new combinations, all tending to the organization of that great
    party of the future, which is to relieve the government from the
    iron dominion of the Black Power.

    "Sir, gentlemen may defeat this proposed fusion here to-day, but
    they cannot control the action of the people. A fusion movement
    will be made under the lead of gentlemen of the Whig, Democratic
    and Free-soil parties, of talents and character. The movement will
    be in harmony with the people's movements in the North. Sir, such
    a movement will put a majority of the men, who voted with you last
    autumn, in a false position before the country, or drive them from
    your ranks. I cannot speak for others, but I tell you frankly,
    that I cannot be placed in a false position--I cannot, even for
    one moment, consent to stand arrayed against the hosts of freedom
    now preparing for the contest of 1856. I tell you frankly that
    whenever I see a formation in position to strike effective blows
    for freedom, I shall be with it in the conflict--whenever I see an
    organization in position antagonistic to freedom, my arm shall aid
    in smiting it down."

The proposition for a union of the people was lost by a small vote,
and the twenty-one years' amendment adopted by a small majority.
Against the twenty-one years proposition, General Wilson said:

    "Sir, the American movement is not based upon bigotry, intolerance
    or proscription. If there is anything of bigotry, intolerance or
    proscription in the American movement--if there is any disposition
    to oppress or degrade the Briton, the Scot, the Celt, the German
    or any one of another clime or race, or to deny to them the
    fullest protection of just and equal laws, it is time such
    criminal fanaticism was sternly rebuked by the intelligent
    patriotism of the State and country. I deeply deplore, sir, the
    adoption of the twenty-one years amendment. It will weaken the
    American movement at home and in other States, especially in the
    West, and tend to defeat any modification whatever of the
    naturalization laws. I warn gentlemen, who desire the correction
    of the evils growing out of the abuses of the naturalization laws,
    against the adoption of extreme opinions; I tell you, gentlemen of
    the council, that this intense nativism kills--yes, sir, it kills
    and is killing us, and unless it is speedily abandoned, will
    defeat all the needed reforms the movement was inaugurated to
    secure, and overwhelm us all in dishonor. Every attempt, by
    whomsoever made, to interpolate into the American movement,
    anything inconsistent with the theory of our democratic
    institutions--anything inconsistent with the idea that 'all men
    are created equal'--anything contrary to the commands of God's
    Holy Word that 'the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto
    you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as
    thyself,'--is doing that which will baffle the wise policy which
    tries to reform existing evils and to guard against future

General Wilson engaged with his accustomed industry and energy in the
practical business, and in the exciting debates of the memorable
session of 1855-6. In February, he made a speech on the affairs of
Kansas, replete with facts not then familiar to the country. This
speech went through three editions, and nearly 200,000 copies were
circulated through the free States. In April, General Wilson made a
speech in favor of receiving the petition of the Topeka Legislature
for admission into the Union, and on this occasion in reply to the
taunts of Mr. Douglas about "Amalgamationists," he said:

    "Mr. President, the senator from Illinois tells us, with an air of
    proud assurance, that the State he represents does not believe the
    negro the equal of the white man; that she is opposed to placing
    that degraded race upon terms of equality; that she had a right to
    enact her black laws; and that if we of Massachusetts do not like
    those acts, she does not care. Illinois, he tells us, does not
    wish the blood of the white race to mingle with the blood of the
    inferior race--Massachusetts can do otherwise if she chooses. Let
    me tell the honorable senator from Illinois, that these taunts, so
    often flung out about the equality of races, about amalgamation,
    and the mingling of blood, are the emanations of low and vulgar
    minds. These taunts usually come from men with the odor of
    amalgamation upon them. Sir, I am proud to live in a commonwealth
    where every man, black or white, of every clime and race, is
    recognized as a man, standing upon terms of perfect and absolute
    equality before the laws. Yes, sir, I live in a commonwealth that
    recognizes the sublime creed embodied in the Declaration of
    Independence--a commonwealth that throws over the poor, the weak,
    the lowly, upon whom misfortune has laid its iron hand, the
    protection of just and equal laws. Sir, the people of
    Massachusetts may not believe that the African race,

        "Outcast to insolence and scorn,"

    is the equal to this Anglo-Saxon race of ours in intellectual
    power; but they know no reason why a man, made in the image of
    God, should be degraded by unjust laws, because his Creator has
    given him a weak body or a feeble mind. Sir, the philanthropist,
    the Christian, the true Democratic statesman, will see in the fact
    that a man is weak, ignorant, and poor, the reason why the State
    should throw over him the panoply of just and equal laws."

In the latter part of May, 1856, Mr. Sumner was assailed in his seat
in the Senate chamber by Mr. Brooks of South Carolina, and beaten over
the head with a cane until he fell unconscious upon the floor, covered
with blood. When the assault was made, General Wilson was in the room
of Speaker Banks engaged in conversation with several members of the
House. Returning to the Senate Chamber, he found his friend and
colleague almost unconscious in the hands of his friends. He aided in
the sad task of bearing him to his chamber and placing him on his
couch of pain. That night the Republican members met at the house of
Mr. Seward, and commissioned General Wilson to call the attention of
the Senate to the assault upon his colleague, which duty he performed
next day in a few very appropriate words. On motion of Mr. Seward, a
committee was appointed, and on the morning of the 27th, Mr. Slidell,
Mr. Toombs, Mr. Douglas and others rose to make some personal
explanations concerning the statement made to the committee by Mr.
Sumner. The floor and galleries were crowded, and every word was
listened to with the most intense interest. General Wilson rose to
defend his absent colleague, who was confined to his room, as he
declared, from the effects "of _a brutal, murderous, and cowardly
assault_." He was instantly interrupted by an exclamation from Mr.
Butler, and cries of order increased the intense excitement which
prevailed in the crowded chamber. Threats of personal violence were
made by Mr. Brooks' friends, and several members of both houses
assured General Wilson that they would stand by him in any emergency.
That evening, after the adjournment of Congress, he was compelled to
leave Washington for Trenton, to address the Republican State
convention of New Jersey. On his return, on the morning of the 29th,
he was called upon by General Lane, of Oregon, and a challenge from
Mr. Brooks placed in his hands. General Wilson promptly responded by
placing in the hands of General Lane, through his friend, Mr.
Buffinton, the following note:

    WASHINGTON, _May 29, 10-1/2 o'clock_.

    "HON. P. S. BROOKS,

    "SIR: Your note of the 27th inst. was placed in my hands by your
    friend General Lane, at twenty minutes past ten o'clock to-day.

    "I characterized, on the floor of the Senate, the assault upon my
    colleague as 'brutal, murderous, and cowardly.' I thought so then,
    I think so now. I have no qualifications whatever to make in
    regard to those words.

    "I have never entertained or expressed in the Senate or elsewhere,
    the idea of personal responsibility in the sense of the duellist.

    "I have always regarded duelling as the lingering relic of a
    barbarous civilization, which the law of the country has branded
    as a crime. While, therefore, I religiously believe in the right
    of self-defence in its broadest sense, the law of my country and
    the matured convictions of my whole life alike forbid me to meet
    you for the purpose indicated in your letter.

    "Your obedient servant,


This prompt and emphatic response, declining to fight a duel, but at
the same time avowing his readiness to maintain the right of
self-defence, was most enthusiastically approved and applauded by the
people and presses of the North, and he received many letters, from
men of the highest character, warmly commending his noble and
dignified course.

On the 13th of June, General Wilson made a full and elaborate reply to
Mr. Butler, and in defence of Mr. Sumner. This speech and his speeches
on the bill to admit Kansas, his speech in defence of the acts of Col.
Fremont, and against using the army to enforce the acts of the
territorial legislature of Kansas, were largely circulated through the

On the adjournment of Congress, General Wilson entered into the
Presidential campaign, and gave all his energies to secure the triumph
of the Republican cause.

During the sessions of 1856-7-8 and 1858-9, General Wilson was in
constant attendance upon Congress, and his duties, owing to the
prolonged absence of his colleague, were very arduous and pressing. In
those sessions he took his full share of labor in the committee rooms,
on the floor of the Senate, and on matters of legislative action. He
took part in the debates during these sessions, upon all questions of
importance, and on most of the questions before the Senate, he
delivered elaborate speeches. Those upon the affairs of Kansas exhibit
an amount of information, concerning that territory, surpassed by no
other member of either House of Congress, and his speeches on the
Treasury Note bill, the expenses of the Government, the revenue
collection appropriations, the tariff, the President's Message, and
the Pacific Railroad, are remarkable for fullness and accuracy of
facts, and clearness and force of statement. His speech in March,
1850, in reply to Mr. Hammond of South Carolina, is one of the most
effective speeches ever delivered in Congress, in defence of free
labor. It is full of facts and points of great power, and few speeches
ever made in Congress have had a wider circulation, or received warmer
approval, in the free States.

Mr. Hammond characterized the manual laborers as "slaves"--the
"mud-sills" of society. This extract is quoted from General Wilson's

    "Mr. President, the senator from South Carolina tells us that 'all
    the powers of the world cannot abolish' 'the thing' he calls
    slavery. 'God only can do it when he repeals the fiat, "the poor
    ye have always with you;" for the man who lives by daily labor,
    and your whole class of hireling manual laborers and operatives,
    are essentially slaves! Our slaves are black; happy, content,
    unaspiring; yours are white, and they feel galled by their
    degradation. Our slaves do not vote; yours do vote, and, being the
    majority, they are the depositaries of all your political power;
    and if they knew the tremendous secret, that the ballot-box is
    stronger than an army with banners, and could combine, your
    society would be reconstructed, your government overthrown, and
    your property divided.'

    "'The poor ye have always with you!' This fiat of Almighty God,
    which Christian men of all ages and lands have accepted as the
    imperative injunction of the common Father of all, to care for the
    children of misfortune and sorrow, the senator from South Carolina
    accepts as the foundation-stone, the eternal law, of slavery,
    which 'all the powers of earth cannot abolish.' These precious
    words of our Heavenly Father, 'the poor ye have always with you,'
    are perpetually sounding in the ears of mankind, ever reminding
    them of their dependence and their duties. These words appeal
    alike to the conscience and the heart of mankind. To men blessed
    in their basket and their store, they say 'property has its duties
    as well as its rights!' To men clothed with authority to shape the
    policy or to administer the laws of the State, they say, 'lighten
    by wise, humane, and equal laws, the burdens of the toiling and
    dependent children of men!' To men of every age and every clime
    they appeal, by the Divine promise that 'he that giveth to the
    poor lendeth to the Lord!' Sir, I thank God that I live in a
    commonwealth which sees no warrant in these words of inspiration
    to oppress the sons and daughters of toil and poverty. Over the
    poor and lowly she casts the broad shield of equal, just, and
    humane legislation. The poorest man that treads her soil, no
    matter what blood may run in his veins, is protected in his rights
    and incited to labor by no other force than the assurance that the
    fruits of his toil belong to himself, to the wife of his bosom,
    and the children of his love.

    "The senator from South Carolina exclaims, 'The man who lives by
    daily labor, your whole class of manual laborers, are essentially
    slaves'--'they feel galled by their degradation!' What a sentiment
    is this to hear uttered in the councils of this democratic
    Republic! The senator's political associates who listen to these
    words which brand hundreds of thousands of the men they represent
    in the free States, and hundreds of their neighbors and personal
    friends as 'slaves,' have found no words to repel or rebuke this
    language. This language of scorn and contempt is addressed to
    senators who were not nursed by a slave; whose lot it was to toil
    with their own hands--to eat bread earned, not by the sweat of
    another's brow, but by their own. Sir, I am the son of a 'hireling
    manual laborer' who, with the frosts of seventy winters on his
    brow, 'lives by daily labor.' I, too, have 'lived by daily labor.'
    I, too, have been a 'hireling manual laborer.' Poverty cast its
    dark and chilling shadow over the home of my childhood, and want
    was there sometimes--an unbidden guest. At the age of ten
    years--to aid him who gave me being, in keeping the gaunt spectre
    from the hearth of the mother who bore me--I left the home of my
    boyhood, and went to earn my bread by 'daily labor.' Many a weary
    mile have I travelled

        "'To beg a brother of the earth
        To give me leave to toil.'

    "Sir, I have toiled as a 'hireling manual laborer' in the field
    and in the workshop; and I tell the senator from South Carolina
    that I never 'felt galled by my degradation.' No, sir--never!
    Perhaps the senator who represents that 'other class which leads
    progress, civilization, and refinement,' will ascribe this to
    obtuseness of intellect and blunted sensibilities of the heart.
    Sir, I was conscious of my manhood; I was the peer of my employer;
    I knew that the laws and institutions of my native and adopted
    States threw over him and over me alike the panoply of equality; I
    knew, too, that the world was before me, that its wealth, its
    garnered treasures of knowledge, its honors, the coveted prizes of
    life, were within the grasp of a brave heart and a tireless hand,
    and I accepted the responsibilities of my position all unconscious
    that I was a 'slave.' I have employed others, hundreds of
    'hireling manual laborers.' Some of them then possessed, and now
    possess, more property than I ever owned; some of them were better
    educated than myself--yes, sir, better educated, and better read,
    too, than some senators on this floor; and many of them, in moral
    excellence and purity of character, I could not but feel, were my
    superiors. I have occupied, Mr. President, for more than thirty
    years, the relation of employer and employed; and while I never
    felt 'galled by my degradation' in the one case, in the other I
    was never conscious that my 'hireling laborers' were my inferiors.
    That man is a 'snob' who boasts of being a 'hireling laborer,' or
    who is ashamed of being a 'hireling laborer;' that man is a 'snob'
    who feels any inferiority to any man because he is a 'hireling
    laborer,' or who assumes any superiority over others because he is
    an employer. Honest labor is honorable; and the man who is ashamed
    that he is or was a 'hireling laborer' has not manhood enough to
    'feel galled by his degradation.'

    "Having occupied, Mr. President, the relation of either employed
    or employer for a third of a century; having lived in a
    commonwealth where the 'hireling class of manual laborers' are
    'the depositaries of political power;' having associated with this
    class in all the relations of life; I tell the senator from South
    Carolina, and the class he represents, that he libels, grossly
    libels them, when he declares that they are 'essentially slaves!'
    There can be found nowhere in America, a class of men more proudly
    conscious or tenacious of their rights. Friends and foes have ever
    found them

        'A stubborn race, fearing and flattering none.'

    "Ours are the institutions of freedom; and they flourish best in
    the storms and agitations of inquiry and free discussion. We are
    conscious that our social and political institutions have not
    attained perfection, and we invoke the examination and the
    criticism of the genius and learning of all Christendom. Should
    the senator and his agitators and lecturers come to Massachusetts
    on a mission to teach our 'hireling class of manual laborers,' our
    'mud-sills,' our 'slaves,' the 'tremendous secret of the
    ballot-box,' and to help 'combine and lead them,' these
    stigmatized 'hirelings' would reply to the senator and his
    associates, 'We are freemen; we are the peers of the gifted and
    the wealthy; we know the "tremendous secret of the ballot-box;"
    and we mold and fashion these institutions that bless and adorn
    our proud and free Commonwealth! These public schools are ours,
    for the education of our children; these libraries, with their
    accumulated treasures, are ours; these multitudinous and varied
    pursuits of life, where intelligence and skill find their reward,
    are ours. Labor is here honored and respected, and great examples
    incite us to action. All around us in the professions, in the
    marts of commerce, on the exchange, where merchant-princes and
    capitalists do congregate; in these manufactories and workshops,
    where the products of every clime are fashioned into a thousand
    forms of utility and beauty; on these smiling farms, fertilized by
    the sweat of free labor; in every position of private and of
    public life, are our associates, who were but yesterday "hireling
    laborers," "mud-sills," "slaves." In every department of human
    effort are noble men who sprang from our ranks--men whose good
    deeds will be felt and will live in the grateful memories of men
    when the stones reared by the hands of affection to their honored
    names shall crumble into dust. Our eyes glisten and our hearts
    throb over the bright, glowing and radiant pages of our history
    that records the deeds of patriotism of the sons of New England
    who sprang from our ranks and wore the badges of toil. While the
    names of Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Nathaniel Greene and
    Paul Revere live on the brightest pages of our history, the
    mechanics of Massachusetts and New England will never want
    illustrious examples to incite us to noble aspirations and noble
    deeds. Go home, say to your privileged class, which, you
    vauntingly say, "leads progress, civilization and refinement,"
    that it is the opinion of the "hireling laborers" of
    Massachusetts, if you have no sympathy for your African bondmen,
    in whose veins flows so much of your own blood, you should at
    least sympathize with the millions of your own race, whose labor
    you have dishonored and degraded by slavery! You should teach your
    millions of poor and ignorant white men, so long oppressed by your
    policy, the "tremendous secret that the ballot-box is stronger
    than an army with banners!" You should combine and lead them to
    the adoption of a policy which shall secure their own emancipation
    from a degrading thralldom!'"

Early in January, 1859, Gen. Wilson was reëlected United States
Senator for six years from March 3, 1859. He had in the Senate 35 to 5
votes, and in the House of Representatives 199 to 36 votes. Before the
people and in the legislature, he was without a competitor in the
ranks of his own party; and the unity of sentiment in favor of his
reëlection was a noble tribute of which any public man might justly be


Jefferson Davis is a native of Kentucky. His father took him, when he
was an infant, to Mississippi Territory, about the year 1806. His
father was moderately wealthy and gave his son an excellent education.
He had the ordinary course at the schools, and then entered
Transylvania University College, Kentucky. There he remained till his
father removed him to West Point as a cadet. This was in 1822, and in
1828 he left it with honor as brevet second lieutenant, and was at
once placed in active service. He served in the Indian war of the
times so ably as to gain almost immediately a first lieutenant's
commission. The famous Indian chief, "Black Hawk," became his
prisoner, and a strong friendship was struck up between the lieutenant
and his prisoner, which lasted till the death of the latter.

In 1835, Mr. Davis, sickened of military life without the excitement
of actual engagement with an enemy, and retired from the service,
settling down upon a cotton plantation in Mississippi. For nearly ten
years he remained on his plantation in quiet, cultivating cotton and
his intellect at the same time, for he was during all these years of
rural life a great student and reader. He was contentedly preparing
himself for the future occasion which should call for his services. In
1843, he took the stump for Mr. Polk, and such was his ability before
the people that they sent him to Congress in 1845. When he had been in
Washington but a few months, the war with Mexico broke out, and his
constituents raised a regiment of volunteers, who elected Mr. Davis as
their colonel. He immediately resigned his seat in Congress, and went
with his regiment to join General Taylor in Mexico. The history of
Col. Davis' career in Mexico is full of interest, but we cannot stay
to elaborate it. At Buena Vista he won laurels of glory, in the
parlance of the soldier. Says a friend of his:

    "His men--though volunteers--showed a steadiness which equalled
    anything that might have been expected of veteran troops; and they
    were handled in so masterly a way, that, if the glory of that day
    were to be assigned to any one corps rather than any other, they
    would probably bear away the palm. Every one remembers the proud
    appeal of Colonel Davis to another regiment of volunteers, who
    were finding the fire rather warm, to 'Stay and re-form behind
    that wall'--pointing to his Mississippians. Throughout the war, he
    and his brave riflemen loom up at intervals whenever the fire
    grows hot or the emergency grave, and never without good effect.
    They were armed with a peculiar rifle, now best known as the
    Mississippi rifle, chosen by their colonel himself; it was
    scarcely less deadly than the Minié. Their colonel set the example
    of intrepidity and recklessness of personal injury: at Buena Vista
    he was badly wounded at an early part of the action; but he sat
    his horse steadily till the day was won, and refused even to
    delegate a portion of his duties to his subordinate officers."

The term of service for which his regiment was enlisted having
expired, his medical advisers insisted upon his going home and curing
himself of his wounds. He did not stay long, however; for that very
year--in the late autumn--he was appointed United States Senator
by the Governor of Mississippi to fill a vacancy, and when the
legislature of the State came together, it elected him to the same
high office for the ensuing six years.

In the Senate he at once took a high position. He was made Chairman of
the Military Committee of the Senate, a position he has held during
his entire term of senatorial services, and which he has honored. In
the long and excited debates of 1849-50, and 1850-51, Mr. Davis took a
prominent part, and always what is termed an ultra-sectional position.
He was the champion of the extreme South, and made some of the ablest
speeches of the entire slavery debate.

In September, 1851, Mr. Davis was nominated by the Democrats of
Mississippi, as their candidate for Governor. He at once resigned his
seat in the Senate. He lost an election by a thousand votes--and
retired to his plantation.

Upon the nomination of Franklin Pierce to the Presidency, he took the
stump for him in several of the more doubtful southern States, and
with great success. His popularity before the people as a speaker was
great, and his success was in due proportion.

Mr. Pierce rewarded Mr. Davis for his eminent services in the campaign
by the offer of the Secretaryship of War--an office which he was
peculiarly qualified to fill. He was quite successful as Secretary of
War, though his unfortunate quarrel with General Scott (about the
merits of which we are incompetent to pronounce an opinion), damaged
his popularity with a portion of his friends. When the Pierce
administration went out, Mr. Davis was reëlected United States
Senator, and he has latterly been looked upon as a Democratic leader
in the Senate.

In his personal appearance in the Senate-room, Mr. Davis has few
equals. Tall, upright, stern, and with the bearing of a prince, he at
once commands the admiration of the stranger so far as his personal
appearance is concerned. His military manners have followed him from
the camp into the Senate. We say this in no offensive sense, though it
is true that the senator often unintentionally offends by the
quickness, the savageness, and the irritability of his style and
speech. This is not intentional, and though it now and then gives
offence, it at the same time gives great force to the sentiment which
the senator may be uttering at the time. He has a peculiar voice,
keyed high, yet musical, and his words come flowing out like so many
cannon-balls with the force of gunpowder behind them.

The political position of Mr. Davis cannot be misunderstood. He is
ultra-southern. Not a disunionist, at all events; but a disunionist in
a certain event. He stands by the extreme southern men--occupies an
extreme southern position for a man who claims yet to stand by the
national Democratic party. His views upon the non-intervention
doctrines of Mr. Douglas, we shall quote that we may not do him
injustice. He is an enthusiastic and consistent advocate of utter free
trade. Nothing short of absolute free trade will suit him or satisfy
him. He is also opposed to the Homestead bill, and all like
appropriations of the public lands. He is in favor of the acquisition
of Cuba, but opposed the Senate resolution--proposed--giving Mr.
Buchanan power to make war upon the southern republics when he should
think the occasion demanded it.

If Mr. Davis' position be thought to be extremely southern, it must be
remembered that he is an honest, upright man--much more so than some
who clamor after office; and that such a man can be trusted generally,
in spite of his prejudices, to deal fairly even with his opponents. An
honest man, however ultra his position, if he have intellect, is safer
to be trusted with a high office, than the mere twaddling politician,
who will execute the party's bidding, however iniquitous it may be.

In the great "non-intervention debate" of the Senate, in February,
1859, Mr. Davis said:

    "Now, the senator asks will you make a discrimination in the
    territories? I say yes, I would discriminate in the territories
    wherever it is needful to assert the right of a citizen: wherever
    it is proper to carry out the principle, the obligation, the clear
    intent and meaning of the Constitution of the United States. I
    have heard many a siren's song on this doctrine of
    non-intervention; a thing shadowy and fleeting, changing its color
    as often as the chameleon, which never meant anything fairly
    unless it was that Congress would not attempt to legislate on a
    subject over which they had no control; that they would not
    attempt to establish slavery anywhere nor to prohibit it anywhere;
    and such was the language of the compromise measures of 1850 when
    this doctrine was inaugurated. Since that, it has been woven into
    a delusive gauze, thrown over the public mind, and presented as an
    obligation of the Democratic party to stand still; withholding
    from an American citizen the protection he has a right to claim;
    to surrender their power; to do nothing; to prove faithless to the
    trust they hold at the hands of the people of the States. If the
    theory of the senator be correct, and if Congress has no power to
    legislate in any regard upon the subject, how did you pass the
    fugitive slave law? He repeats, again and again, that you have no
    power to legislate in regard to slavery either in the States or in
    the territories, and yet the fugitive slave law stands on the
    statute-book; and although he did not vote for it, he explained to
    the country why he did not, and expressed his regret that his
    absence had prevented him from recording his vote in favor of it.

    "From the plain language of the Constitution, as I have read it,
    how is it possible for one still claiming to follow the path of
    the Constitution, to assert that Congress has no power to
    legislate in relation to the subject anywhere? He informs us,
    however, that by the Kansas-Nebraska bill, the full power of the
    inhabitants of a territory to legislate on all subjects not
    inconsistent with the Constitution, was granted by Congress. If
    Congress attempted to make such a grant; if Congress thus
    attempted to rid themselves of a trust imposed upon them, they
    exceeded their authority. They could delegate no such power. The
    territorial legislature can be but an instrument, through which
    the Congress of the United States execute their trust in relation
    to the territories. Therefore it was, that notwithstanding the
    exact language of that bill which the senator has read, the
    Congress of the United States did assume, and did exercise, the
    power to repeal a law passed in that very territory of Kansas,
    which they clearly could not have done if they had surrendered all
    control over its legislation. Whether the senator voted for that
    report or not, I do not know; I presume he did; but whether he did
    or not, does not vary the question, except so far as it affects
    himself. The advocates of the Kansas-Nebraska bill were generally
    the men who most promptly claimed the repeal of those laws,
    because they said they were a violation of those rights which
    every American citizen possessed under the Constitution.

    "But the senator says territorial laws can only be set aside by an
    appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. If so, then they
    have a power not derived from Congress; they are not the
    instruments of Congress. But in the course of the senator's
    remarks, and quite inconsistent with this position, he announced
    that they possessed no power save that which they derived from the
    organic act and the Constitution. They can derive no power from
    the Constitution save as territories of the United States, over
    which the States have given the power of a trustee to the
    Congress; and being the delegate of the Congress, they have such
    powers as Congress has thought proper to give, provided they do
    not exceed such powers as the Congress possesses. How, then, does
    the Senator claim that they have a power to legislate which
    Congress cannot revise; and yet no power to legislate at all save
    that which they derive from their organic act?

    "My friend from Alabama presented a question to the senator from
    Illinois, which he did not answer. It was, whether a law
    pronounced unconstitutional by the Supreme Court was still to
    remain in force within the territory, Congress failing to provide
    any remedy which would restore the right violated by that
    unconstitutional act? The senator answers me from his seat,
    'clearly not.' Then I ask him, what is the remedy? The law is
    pronounced unconstitutional, and yet the right which it has
    violated is not restored; the protection which is required is not
    granted; the law which deprived him of the protection, though it
    may be declared unconstitutional, is not replaced by any which
    will give him the adequate protection to hold his property. Then
    what is the benefit he derives from the decision of the Supreme
    Court? The decision of the Supreme Court is binding upon the
    Congress; but this squatter-sovereignty legislation, seeming to be
    outside of the Constitution, outside of the legislation of the
    Federal Government, erects itself into an attitude that seems to
    me quite inappropriate.

    "I concede to the Congress the power, through the instrumentality
    of a territorial legislature, to legislate upon such subjects as
    Congress itself has the right to make laws for; no more than that.
    More than that the senator cannot claim, unless he can show to us
    that philosophical problem of getting more out of a tub than it
    contains; its contents being measured, to find something more
    which can be taken out of it. If he will not--and I suppose he
    will not--contend that Congress can delegate more power than it
    possesses, how does he get the power in the territorial
    legislature to pass laws which will interfere with the rights of a
    citizen choosing to migrate to a territory? It is the common
    property of the people of the States. Every citizen has a right to
    go there, and to carry with him whatever property is recognized by
    the Constitution; the common law of the States forming the Union.
    Congress has no power to prohibit it; is bound to see that it is
    fully enjoyed. Then, I ask the senator, where does he derive the
    power for the territorial legislature to do it? for he has planted
    himself now on the ground that they derive their authority from
    the organic act."

At a subsequent stage of the debate, the subjoined colloquy occurred
between Mr. Pugh, of Ohio, who had the floor, and Mr. Davis:

    "MR. DAVIS.--With the permission of the senator from Ohio, I will
    ask him whether he understood the senator from Virginia to assert
    that the Constitution of the United States would give the right to
    carry this property into the limits of a State where it is

    "MR. PUGH.--No, sir; but I say that this proposition is nothing,
    unless it goes to that extent.

    "MR. DAVIS.--In the absence of my friend from Virginia, I would
    say that his theory, I believe, agrees with mine; and certainly
    does not go to that extent. It is that the Constitution makes it
    property throughout the United States. It can, therefore, be taken
    and held wherever the sovereign power of a State has not
    prohibited it. When it reaches the territory of a sovereign State
    where its introduction is inhibited, it there stops; except for
    the reserved right to recover a fugitive, and for the right of
    transit, which belongs to every citizen of the United States. That
    is the decision of the Supreme Court.

    "MR. PUGH.--I repeat my assertion: if the Constitution of the
    United States gives this form of property its peculiar protection,
    as gentlemen assert, and the right to carry it, it is carried into
    every State over the constitution and laws of the State; for the
    Constitution of the United States is supreme above the
    constitutions and laws of the States; and it means that, or it
    means nothing. There is no distinction; there can be none made;
    and my colleague put the very question which proved the fallacy of
    the whole proposition. But senators say there is no sovereignty in
    the territories. I agree to that; but why do we deceive ourselves
    about words? There is no such language as sovereignty in the
    Constitution of the United States. Senators say it requires a
    power of sovereignty to exclude slavery, and the senator from
    Mississippi has just now spoken of the sovereignty of the State
    which excludes slavery. He says it requires sovereign power to
    exclude slavery. Well, how is that sovereignty to be expressed?

    "MR. DAVIS.--When a State, being a sovereign, by its organic law
    excludes that species of property, the act is final. There is no
    sovereignty in the Constitution, as the senator states, and why?
    Because the Constitution is a compact between sovereigns creating
    an agent with delegated powers; and sovereignty is an indivisible
    thing. They gave functions of sovereignty from their plenary
    power. Sovereignty remained with the people of the States.

    "MR. PUGH.--Then I understand the senator that the sovereignty can
    only speak through a constitution, and that it is in the
    constitution of a State only that the power to admit or exclude
    slavery is to be exercised. Why, sir, until the year 1820 not a
    State of this Union, in her constitution, either admitted or
    excluded slavery, and I do not believe Virginia did until 1850 or
    1851. None of the States did it until Missouri when she came into
    the Union, and she put it into her constitution, not upon the idea
    that that was peculiarly the place, but for the express purpose of
    disarming her legislature. It was an ordinary legislative power,
    nothing else in the world; known and recognized as such and
    admitted as such by every State in the Union. New York abolished
    slavery by law, Pennsylvania abolished slavery by law, and in the
    States where the institution continued, it was fostered,
    protected, and recognized by ordinary acts of legislation.

    "MR. DAVIS.--I am sorry to interrupt the senator again, and I
    believe this will be the last time. The first instance he will
    find was that of Massachusetts, who, in her bill of rights, at the
    Revolutionary era, made a declaration which her supreme court held
    to be the abolition of slavery; and I think he will find that it
    has generally been acted on in that way; but he has not the right
    to assume anything more than I stated. I stated a mode."


Col. Orr is of Irish extraction, his ancestors on the paternal and
maternal side coming originally from Ireland. His grandfather, a
native of North Carolina, was a Revolutionary soldier. Christopher
Orr, his father, was a country merchant of considerable means, and who
expended them liberally upon the education of his children. James L.
Orr was born May 12, 1822, at Craytonville, Anderson District, South
Carolina. He began his education at a common school, but was soon sent
to the Anderson Academy, at the same time, however, assisting his
father in keeping his books. When he was eighteen years old, he was
sent to the University of Virginia, where his proficiency in his
studies was so great, that he attracted the attention of his tutors,
who predicted a promising career for the young student. In 1841, he
left college and spent two years in pursuing a course of general
reading, of the greatest importance to him in after life.

In 1843, he studied law, was admitted to the bar. He began the
practice of law at home, in Anderson, the same year establishing a
village newspaper and editing it. It was called the "Anderson
Gazette." In 1844, when but twenty-two years of age, his neighbors and
friends elected him to the State Legislature, where he began his
political career in a quiet, unostentatious manner. Still, he took a
very decided position--one which gave an indication of his future
policy. It was this: he delivered a speech in opposition to the
doctrine of nullification, in reference to the tariff of 1812. He also
took democratic ground in favor of the election of Presidential
electors of the people. They were then, and are now in South Carolina,
elected by the legislature.

In 1848, Mr. Orr became a candidate for Congress. His chief opponent
was a Democrat, a lawyer of wealth and talents, and of course the
contest was simply one of personal popularity, as both gentlemen held
the same political sentiments. After a very lively contest, Mr. Orr
was elected by 700 majority over his Democratic competitor. He entered
Congress at a time when the country was convulsed with the slavery
question, and though such men as Webster, Clay, Calhoun, Cass, and the
like, were in Congress, he very soon attracted the attention of the
experienced legislators of that time. Not by egotistic speeches,
forcing himself, as some men do, upon the attention of Congress and
the country, but by delivering, at judicious times, speeches which
were full of solid ability. While he was a firm defender of slavery
and what are called "the constitutional rights of the South," he
condemned the agitation of the question of slavery, and arrayed
himself against the ultraists of his section of the country. Col.
Orr's constituents were so well pleased with his conduct that they
have left him in it till he was, in December, 1857, elected speaker of
the House of Representatives.

When the compromise measures were passed, South Carolina for a time
seemed to favor a secession from the Union. A Constitutional
Convention had been called and a large majority of the delegates were
pledged to favor secession. Col. Orr, however, come out very boldly
and eloquently against their policy. A General Convention of the
disaffected people was held in Charleston, in 1851, and Col. Orr
attended as a delegate from the Anderson District. In the Convention
he took strong ground against disunion, and introduced resolutions
embodying his opinions on that subject. But out of 450 members, only
30 came to his support. But Col. Orr was undaunted by the majority of
numbers against him. He appealed to the people by voice and pen, and
as the result he and a companion in his disunion views were elected to
the proposed Southern Congress over two secession candidates. An
apparent admirer of Col. Orr, speaking of this contest, says:

    "That the crisis was one full of alarm and danger must be admitted
    even by those furthest from the scene, and most disposed to deny
    both the right and power of a State to secede; and that Mr. Orr,
    in the very opening of a brilliant political career, hazarded his
    future hopes and prospects to a sense of right and duty, entitles
    him to the regard of every true lover of the Union. His triumph
    was highly honorable to himself, and fixed him more firmly than
    ever in the esteem and affections of his constituents."

The same writer remarks:

"The Congressional career of Mr. Orr, which a want of space prevents
us from noticing more in detail, has been both a brilliant and a
useful one. Always sustaining his positions with eloquence and force
of argument, and exhibiting great fairness in debate, he has commanded
attention, and exercised a powerful influence over the questions of
the day. His habits of thorough investigation and analysis, and his
tenacious adherence to his convictions of right, have frequently
placed him at the head of important committees; and his reports are
among the ablest in our legislative records. As chairman of the
Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union, during the
discussion of the most important and exciting measures, he displayed
so much promptness, firmness, and intelligence in his decisions that
he won the confidence and respect of men of all parties; and at the
commencement of last Congress he was almost unanimously selected by
the Democrats as their candidate for Speaker. His party was, however,
in the minority, and his election failed. When the present session of
Congress opened, Mr. Orr was nominated, without opposition, and
elected its presiding officer. So far he has justified the
expectations of his friends and of the party which placed him in the
chair. In the fulfillment of the duties of his present position Mr.
Orr will doubtless add honorably to the reputation he now enjoys. He
is too wise a man not to perceive that while fidelity to party was the
best ladder for him to rise to his present height, impartial
neutrality will now serve his fame and ambition better."

Upon the whole, Mr. Orr made an admirable Speaker to the Thirty-fifth
Congress. If he was not always rigidly impartial, the exceptional
cases were rare, and when he was swerved from the straight line of
duty by his sectional prejudices.

In November, 1855, to go back a little--Col. Orr published a letter in
reference to the duty of South Carolina toward the Democratic party of
the North. The people of that State were then, as they seem almost
always to be, in a state of high excitement on the slavery question.
Many leading politicians counselled secession and non-action in
reference to the Presidential canvass. But Col. Orr took different
ground. In his letter to Hon. C. W. Dudley, dated Anderson, Nov. 23,
1855, he said:

    "A convention is merely a method of finding out what the popular
    opinion is, and giving to it a more conspicuous and imposing
    expression. It has been steadily and uniformly pursued by the
    Democracy of all the States (except our own) for fifteen years or
    more, and the selection of delegates, manner of voting and
    nominating, has been defined by a usage well understood and
    acquiesced in, as if regulated by law. Hence, we know that such a
    convention will assemble in Cincinnati in May next, and that it
    will nominate candidates for the Presidency and Vice
    Presidency--adopt a platform of principles--and it is nearly
    certain that the nominees will receive the votes of the Democratic
    party of every State in the Union. Shall the Democracy of this
    State send delegates? It is our privilege to be represented there,
    and at the present time I believe it to be a high and solemn duty
    to meet our political allies, and to aid, by our presence and
    councils, in selecting suitable nominees and constructing a
    platform, which will secure our rights and uphold the

    "There has never been a time since the convention policy was
    adopted--if, indeed, there has been such a time since the
    government was inaugurated--when the success of the Democratic
    party in the electoral college was so vitally important as now. If
    that party should be defeated in the election before the people,
    every patriot's mind must be filled with gloomy forebodings of the
    future. The indications now are, that the opposition to the
    Democratic party, made up of Know Nothings, Abolitionists, and
    Fusionist, will run two or more candidates: if the Democracy fail
    to secure a majority in the electoral college over all elements of
    opposition, then the election must be made, according to the
    Constitution, by the House of Representatives. Can we safely trust
    the election of our rights to that body? The House is now elected,
    and we _know_ that a decided majority of the House are members of
    the Know Nothing, Fusion and Whig parties; and if the election be
    devolved on them, the Democratic party will be certainly defeated,
    and perhaps a Fusionist promoted to the Presidency. Are the people
    of South Carolina so indifferent to their relations to the Federal
    Government, that they will quietly look on and see such an
    administration as we have had since the 4th of March, '53--an
    administration that has faithfully and fearlessly maintained the
    Constitution in its purity--supplanted by Know Nothingism or Black
    Republicanism? That is the issue to be decided in the next
    presidential election, and that, too, in the electoral college;
    for if we fail there, then we know now with absolute certainty
    that we must be defeated before the House. Was it, then, ever so
    important before that the Convention should be filled with
    discreet, patriotic men; that there should be the fullest
    representation of every man devoted to the Democratic faith, and
    opposed to Fusion and Know Nothingism; that they should commune
    freely together, and nominate a candidate who will command the
    confidence of the entire party.

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "We have heard much of southern union being necessary to our
    safety. We now have it in our power, by cordial coöperation with
    our southern sisters, to secure it--to secure it on such a basis
    as will permanently preserve our institutions. We can here make
    our demand, and with a united South, we can offer it to the true
    men of the North. If we act wisely and present such an ultimatum,
    I doubt not that thousands, perhaps millions, at the North, will
    espouse and maintain it; for it is a platform of the Constitution,
    and there are hosts of conservative men who I know are prepared to
    maintain the Constitution of our fathers.

    "Will we reject it with silent contempt--adhere to our isolation,
    and stubbornly refuse to fraternize with her, and all the balance
    of our southern sisters? Who doubts that all the South will be
    represented there? and can it be said, truthfully, that our voice
    can be of no avail or weight, when the ultimatum shall be laid
    down? If we send delegates, who can say that our votes may not
    secure a reliable nominee and a sound platform? Will the
    instructions of Georgia to her delegates be more or less potent
    with the indorsement of all or of only a portion of the South?

    "If, indeed, fanaticism is in the ascendant in the North, and
    cannot be overcome, then what initiative step toward a southern
    Union, for the last resort, can be more effective than to unite
    all the South on the Georgia platform and instructions? Our
    influence in counsel and in action will be increased, whenever we
    show a hearty disposition to harmonize with our sisters in the
    South. Have we not heretofore kept aloof from their consultations
    in every instance, save in the Nashville Convention?--and that was
    a movement which did not derive any popularity in the South from
    being suspected of having originated in South Carolina. Sooner or
    later we must learn the important truth, that the fate and destiny
    of the entire South is identical. Isolation will give neither
    security nor concert. When we meet Virginia and Georgia, Alabama
    and Mississippi, in consultation, as at Cincinnati, it is the
    supremacy of Pharisaism to flippantly denounce such association as
    either dangerous or degrading. North Carolina, Missouri, Florida,
    and Texas, will be there represented; and are we too exalted or
    conceited to meet them at the same council board?

    "We shall meet there many liberal men from the North; those who in
    their section have done good service against political
    abolitionism. When we insist upon our platform with firmness, and
    they see we only make a demand of our constitutional rights, they
    will concede it; and when they go home they will prosecute the
    canvass in good faith, upon the principles enunciated at the
    Convention. Concert among ourselves, with the aid of the
    conservative men at the North, may enable us to save a
    constitutional Union; if that cannot be preserved, it will enable
    us to save ourselves and our institutions. Are we alone to have
    unoccupied seats, when such grave matters are to be decided by the
    Cincinnati Convention?

    "Suppose the Democracy of this State should decide not to send
    delegates, and the other States of the South should follow her
    example, who would be voted for? Could the party, _even at the
    South_, without some concert, which could only be secured by
    meeting, rally upon the same man? No well-informed person would
    venture an affirmative answer; what would be the result? The
    Democratic party would certainly be defeated, and the Know
    Nothing, or Black Republican party, would as certainly be
    successful. Our policy, then, would inevitably bring upon us
    defeat; and if we are to be saved from a free-soil President, it
    is only to be done by the party in the other States assembling and
    making a nomination in which we refuse to participate. Even those
    who are opposing the sending of the delegates, I doubt not,
    rejoice in the hope that the other States, despite our
    impracticable example, will meet and nominate candidates.

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "The northern Democrats aided us to bring into the Union Texas, a
    magnificent slave-holding territory--large enough to make four
    slave States, and strengthened us more in that peculiar interest
    than was ever before done by any single act of the Federal
    Government. Since then they have amended a very imperfect fugitive
    slave law, passed in 1793, and have given us now a law for the
    recovery of fugitive slaves, as stringent as the ingenuity of man
    could devise. Since then they have aided us by their votes in
    establishing the doctrine of non-intervention with slavery by
    Congress in the territories. Since then they have reduced the
    odious tariff of 1842, and fixed the principle of imposts on the
    revenue, not the protective basis. Since then they have actually
    repealed the Missouri restriction, opened the territories to
    settlement, and enabled us, if the South will be true to herself,
    and aid in peopling Kansas, to form another slave State.

    "In 1843, a man would have been pronounced insane, had he
    predicted that slavery would be introduced there by the removal of
    congressional restrictions. Since then they have adopted the
    Virginia and Kentucky resolutions and Madison's report--the very
    corner-stone of State rights--as a part of the Democratic
    platform. They have by their votes in Congress and Convention
    given all these pledges to the Constitution since 1843; and if we
    could then fraternize with them, what change has transpired that
    justifies the delegates in that Convention, at least, in refusing
    now to fraternize with northern and southern Democrats?"

The reader will easily see Col. Orr's position from this letter. He is
a southern Democrat, and, as such, a defender of slavery and slavery
extension, a free trader, and an opponent of all homestead bills, but
he does not go with the most ultra class of Southern politicians; in
short, he is "a National Democrat." He stands by the Democratic
organization of the country, so long as it stands by the South and her
institutions as well as it has done in the past. Upon the new issues
of intervention for slavery in the territories he has not yet spoken,
but he was, of course, a rigid Lecomptonite. But during the debate on
the Kansas-Nebraska bill he spoke very decidedly. He said: "The
legislative authority of a territory is invested with no vote for or
against laws. We think they ought to pass laws in every territory,
when the territory is open to settlement, and slaveholders go there,
to protect slave property. But if they decline to pass such laws, what
is the remedy? _None, sir._ If the majority of the people are opposed
to the institution, and if they do not desire it ingrafted upon their
territory, all they have to do is simply to decline to pass laws in
the territorial legislature for its protection."

In Congress, Col. Orr has generally ranged himself with the
compromising democracy. He is not born of the old aristocratic stock
of South Carolina planters, but was the son of a worker--a country
merchant. This fact has never been lost sight of by a portion of the
citizens of South Carolina, and they have been, some of them at least,
his bitter enemies for years. It is not impossible but Col. Orr, for
this reason, has taken a more "national" view of politics, and has
refused to go out of the Union for the sake of the slaveholding

In his personal appearance Col. Orr is not, perhaps, prepossessing;
though his great, black eye and fine open face show the force and
power of his intellect. He is large in person, and not particularly
graceful in his actions or appearance. He has a certain dignity,
however, which enforces attention if he is the orator of the occasion,
and obedience if he is the presiding officer.


We have no extended sketch of Mr. Botts to present to the reader, but
a few leading facts in reference to the political man.

Mr. Botts is a native of Dumfries, Prince William County, Virginia,
and was born in September, 1802. As early as 1834, he joined the Whig
party, and in 1839, he came to Congress as a Whig. He was known in the
House as a follower of Mr. Clay, or rather a supporter of Mr. Clay and
his peculiar doctrines. Mr. Botts, in other words, was in favor of a
highly protective tariff, the distribution of the public lands, and
internal improvements. He is to-day in favor of these measures of what
he would call reform. So strong was he in his devotion to the tenets
of the Whig party, that when President Tyler disappointed his friends
by his tariff policy, Mr. Botts, though a friend of years, at once
terminated the friendship. He could not hold in respect the man who,
it seemed to him, had betrayed his friends.

Mr. Botts was opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska act and to the passage of
the Lecompton bill. Nevertheless he is a slaveholder and a defender of
the institution as it now exists in Virginia. But he is not a believer
in the finality of the present system, nor is he afraid to express his
opinions of slavery. This will be seen at once by the perusal of a
letter to the "Richmond Whig," from Mr. Botts, from which we quote. It
is dated April 18, 1859:

    "I have recently received many letters from different parts of the
    State, asking for a copy of my Powhatan speech, delivered in 1850,
    which it is impossible for me to furnish, as I have only some half
    dozen copies left. As the best means of supplying the information
    so earnestly sought by those friends who are anxious to ascertain
    _what horrible sentiments I uttered on the subject of slavery_,
    which have been recently, to a great extent, substituted for the
    'free negro' misrepresentation, I have concluded to publish, for
    the benefit of the Imposition party in particular, everything in
    that speech that relates to the question of slavery; garbled
    extracts of which have already appeared in a small portion of the
    press of that party--many of them, seeming to think there was no
    great amount of capital to be made out of it, have declined to
    notice it. The following is the portion objected to. I said:

    "'There are, sir, two parties in our country, distinct from all
    the rest, of whom I wish to say a word. The one in the North,
    called 'Abolitionists,' and the other, in the South, known as
    'Disunionists.' I am not sure for which of the two parties I have
    the least sympathy or respect; and I am not sure to which attaches
    the largest share of the responsibility for the chief difficulties
    with which the nation has been lately afflicted.

    "The Abolitionists seem to estimate the value of this Union (and
    to hold as a condition and a price for its continuance) by the
    _abolition of African slavery_. While the ultra men of the South,
    or disunionists, seem to regard the _perpetuation_ and _extension_
    of slavery as the chief bond that can hold them and the Union
    together. For neither of these parties have I any sympathy. I hold
    to the Union for far different, and, I trust, higher and nobler
    purposes. It is for the _perpetuation of American Freedom_, rather
    than the _abolition_ or _perpetuation of African Slavery_. I am
    one of those who think slavery, in the abstract, is much to be
    deprecated; and whilst I think that, as at present organized in
    the southern States, it is a humanizing, civilizing, and
    Christianizing institution, as must all agree who will take the
    pains to compare the present condition of our slaves with the
    original African race, yet I regard it as a great calamity that it
    should have been entailed upon us; and I should look upon that man
    as the first and greatest benefactor to his country, whose wisdom
    could point out to us some practical and satisfactory means by
    which we could, through our own instrumentality, and without
    interference from our neighbors, provide for the ultimate
    emancipation and removal of all the slaves in the country. I speak
    of this as a desirable thing, especially to the owners of slaves,
    who, I think, are the chief sufferers, but at the same time I fear
    it is perfectly Utopian to attempt it; but I have seen too much
    difference between the enterprise, the industry, and the
    prosperity of the free and the slave States, to doubt the
    advantage we would derive from it if it could be accomplished.'

    "Now, there it is; let them make the most of it. I will add, that
    I said it all at mature age, after full and careful deliberation,
    honestly believing and thinking all that it contains. I have seen
    no reason for _modification_, _recantation_, or _equivocation_.
    What I thought and said then, I think and repeat now, _in the most
    emphatic terms_; and hold, that he who objects to the sentiments
    conveyed, to be consistent, must not only be in favor of reopening
    the African slave trade at this time, but must take the position,
    that if no such thing as slavery had ever been known to or
    introduced amongst us, he would now favor its introduction for the
    first time; for if its original introduction is not to be
    deprecated, but justified and approved, why would he not advocate
    a traffic that holds so high a place in his judgment and regard? I
    do not know how many there are in this State, or in the South, who
    set themselves up as advocates of this revolting trade, nor do I
    care; I have only to say, that I am not one of them, and that, as
    a _humanized_, _civilized_ and _christianized_, member of the
    community, I should be utterly _ashamed_ of myself, if I could
    _entertain_ any other opinions than those I have expressed; and I
    should deserve the scorn of all men, if I could permit any
    condition of the public mind to induce me so far to _debase_
    myself as to render me capable of expressing any other, for the
    purpose of catering to a morbid, vitiated, and corrupt taste, or
    to an affected and artificial sentimentality on the subject of
    slavery. These were then, and are now, my honest convictions, and
    I think all who have participated in the clamor that has been
    attempted to be gotten up, for the opportunity afforded me of
    proclaiming them from the house-tops, to the _humanized_,
    _civilized_, and _christianized_ world; and I hope the Imposition
    press, throughout the State, will publish them, and that their
    candidates for gubernational and subordinate honors may read this
    my last declaration on the subject, wherever they may speak.

    "In another part of that speech I said:

    "'What I would ask and _demand_ of the North, is that they shall
    not interfere with slavery as it exists under the Constitution;
    that they shall not touch the question of the slave trade between
    the States; that they shall carry out the true intent and meaning
    of the Constitution in reference to the restitution of fugitive
    slaves. These are the _true issues_ between the North and the
    South; and I would go as far as he who goes furthest in exacting
    them, 'at all hazards, and to the last extremity." And what I
    would ask of the South is, not to suffer itself to be led off,
    without due consideration, upon false issues, presented by
    intemperate or over-zealous politicians, many of whom delight in,
    and live upon, agitation and excitement, and many more, perhaps,
    who owe their ephemeral fame and position to a _pretended,
    exclusive championship for southern rights_. Southern honor does
    not depend upon making unreasonable and untenable demands. The
    interference _with_, or abolition _of_ slavery, where it exists,
    is one thing; the extension of it, where it does not exist, is a
    very different thing! Let us claim no more than we are entitled to
    under the Constitution; and then, what we do claim, let us stand
    by, like men who "know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain

    "I have seen no reason to recant what I said here, either; these
    are the sentiments I now entertain, as I did when they were
    delivered before the people of Powhatan. What fault do they find
    with this? Do they indorse it or repudiate it? If they indorse it,
    even-handed justice requires them to say so. If they condemn it,
    justice to themselves, as they are resolved to make war on me,
    requires that they should point out wherein they differ from me.

    "In this connection it may be proper to add, for the information
    of all who feel an interest in my record, one short paragraph from
    my African Church speech, in 1856, relating to the same subject;
    and from the several extracts herewith furnished, I think few will
    have any difficulty in ascertaining my position on the slavery
    question. Here is the passage referred to:

    "'My position on the question of slavery is this; and, so far from
    wishing to conceal it, I desire it should be known to all. Muzzles
    were made for dogs, and not for men; and no press and no party can
    put a muzzle on my mouth, so long as I value my freedom. I make
    bold, then, to proclaim that I am no slavery propagandist. I will
    resort to all proper remedies to protect and defend slavery where
    it exists, but I will neither assist in nor encourage any attempt
    to force it upon a reluctant people anywhere, and still less will
    I justify the use of the military power of the country to
    establish it in any of the territories. If it finds its way there
    by legitimate means, it is all well; but never by force, through
    any instrumentality of mine. I am myself a slaveholder, and all
    the property my children have in the world is slave property,
    inherited from their mother; and he who undertakes to connect my
    name, or my opinions, with abolitionism, is either a knave or a
    fool, and not unfrequently both. And this is the only answer I
    have to make to them. I have not connected myself with any
    sectional party or sectional question; and so help me God, I never


The moderate political views which Gov. Hammond, of South Carolina,
has within a couple of years given publicity to, has given him a
somewhat national reputation among the adherents of the Democratic
party. He came to Congress as a politician of the Southern Rights
school, and it was generally supposed that he would be found acting
with the ultra wing of the Southern party in Congress. He brought with
him the reputation of a scholar and an orator, and mingled at once in
the Lecompton fray. He took sides with the administration against Mr.
Douglas, though it was noticed at the time that the senator had very
little to say about the Lecompton Constitution and the real issue then
before Congress. His speeches were upon the general question of

The new senator from South Carolina attracted the universal attention
of Congress and the strangers then present in Washington, and the
impression he made was generally a happy one. His manners were quiet,
unostentatious, gentlemanly. His style of speech was smooth, pleasant,
and sometimes eloquent. As a man he was liked. Genial in his nature
and pleasant in his conversation, he soon made warm friends at the
capital--even among some of the very men whom he had in his South
Carolina home regarded as little less than monsters in human shape.
Senator Hammond at first tried his lance with the Illinois Giant, but
either from personal considerations, or other, he soon desisted. To
show Gov. Hammond's position on the slavery question in the winter of
1847-8, we quote a few passages from his celebrated speech delivered
in the Senate in the Lecompton debate. We have, in the following
passage, his opinion of squatter sovereignty:

    "If what I have said be correct, then the will of the people of
    Kansas is to be found in the action of her Constitutional
    Convention. It is immaterial whether it is the will of a majority
    of the people of Kansas _now_, or not. The convention was, or
    might have been, elected by a majority of the people of Kansas. A
    convention, elected in April, may well frame a constitution that
    would not be agreeable to a majority of the people of a new State,
    rapidly filling up, in the succeeding January; and if legislatures
    are to be allowed to put to vote the acts of a convention, and
    have them annulled by a subsequent influx of immigrants, there is
    no finality. If you were to send back the Lecompton Constitution,
    and another was to be framed, in the slow way in which we do
    public business in this country, before it would reach Congress
    and be passed, perhaps the majority would be turned the other way.
    Whenever you go outside of the regular forms of law and
    constitutions to seek for the will of the people, you are
    wandering in a wilderness--a wilderness of thorns.

    "If this was a minority constitution, I do not know that that
    would be an objection to it. Constitutions are made for
    minorities. Perhaps minorities ought to have the right to make
    constitutions, for they are administered by majorities. The
    Constitution of this government was made by a minority, and as
    late as 1840 a minority had it in their hands, and could have
    altered or abolished it; for, in 1840, six out of the twenty-six
    States of the Union held the numerical majority. In all countries
    and in all time, it is well understood that the numerical majority
    of the people could, if they chose, exercise the sovereignty of
    the country; but for want of intelligence, and for want of
    leaders, they have never yet been able successfully to combine and
    form a stable popular government. They have often attempted it,
    but it has always turned out, instead of a popular sovereignty, a
    _populace_ sovereignty; and demagogues, placing themselves upon
    the movement, have invariably led them into military despotism.

    "I think that the popular sovereignty which the senator from
    Illinois would derive from the acts of his territorial
    legislature, and from the information received from partisans and
    partisan presses, would lead us directly into _populace_, and not
    popular sovereignty. Genuine popular sovereignty never existed on
    a firm basis except in this country. The first gun of the
    Revolution announced a new organization of it, which was embodied
    in the Declaration of Independence, developed, elaborated, and
    inaugurated forever in the Constitution of the United States. The
    two pillars of it were Representation and the Ballot-box. In
    distributing their sovereign powers among the various departments
    of the Government, the people retained for themselves the single
    power of the ballot-box; and a great power it was. Through that
    they were able to control all the departments of the Government.
    It was not for the people to exercise political power in detail;
    it was not for them to be annoyed with the cares of government;
    but, from time to time, through the ballot-box, to exert their
    sovereign power and control the whole organization. This is
    popular sovereignty, the popular sovereignty of a legal
    constitutional ballot-box; and when spoken through that box, the
    'voice of the people,' for all political purposes, 'is the voice
    of God; but when it is heard outside of that, it is the voice of a
    demon, the _tocsin_ of the reign of terror."

Speaking of the South and slavery, he said:

    "If we never acquire another foot of territory for the South, look
    at her. Eight hundred and fifty thousand square miles. As large as
    Great Britain, France, Austria, Prussia, and Spain. Is not that
    territory enough to make an empire that shall rule the world? With
    the finest soil, the most delightful climate, whose staple
    productions none of those great countries can grow, we have three
    thousand miles of continental shore line, so indented with bays
    and crowded with islands, that, when their shore lines are added,
    we have twelve thousand miles. Through the heart of our country
    runs the great Mississippi, the father of waters, into whose bosom
    are poured thirty-six thousand miles of tributary streams; and
    beyond we have the desert prairie wastes, to protect us in our
    rear. Can you hem in such a territory as that? You talk of putting
    up a wall of fire around eight hundred and fifty thousand square
    miles so situated! How absurd.

    "But, in this territory lies the great valley of the Mississippi,
    now the real, and soon to be the acknowledged, seat of empire of
    the world. The sway of that valley will be as great as ever the
    Nile knew in the earlier ages of mankind. We own the most of it.
    The most valuable part of it belongs to us now; and, although
    those who have settled above us are now opposed to us, another
    generation will tell a different tale. They are ours by all the
    laws of nature; slave labor will go over every foot of this great
    valley where it will be found profitable to use it; and some of
    those who may not use it are soon to be united with us by such
    ties as will make us one and inseparable. The iron horse will soon
    be clattering over the sunny plains of the South, to bear the
    products of its upper tributaries to our Atlantic ports, as it now
    does through the ice-bound North. There is the great Mississippi,
    a bond of union made by Nature herself. She will maintain it

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "In all social systems, there must be a class to do the menial
    duties, to perform the drudgery of life--that is, a class
    requiring but a low order of intellect and but little skill. Its
    requisites are vigor, docility, fidelity. Such a class you must
    have, or you would not have that other class which leads progress,
    civilization, and refinement. It constitutes the very mud-sill of
    society and of political government; and you might as well attempt
    to build a house in the air, as to build either the one or the
    other, except on this mud-sill. Fortunately for the South, she
    found a race adapted to that purpose to her hand--a race inferior
    to her own, but eminently qualified, in temper, in vigor, in
    docility, in capacity, to stand the climate to answer all her
    purposes. We use them for our purpose, and call them slaves. We
    found them slaves, by the 'common consent of mankind,' which,
    according to Cicero, '_lex naturæ est_'--the highest proof of what
    is Nature's law. We are old-fashioned at the South yet; it is a
    word discarded now by 'ears polite;' I will not characterize that
    class at the North with that term; but you have it; it is there;
    it is everywhere; it is eternal."

Upon going home to his South Carolina plantation, a change seems
to have come over the mind of the senator--or he was greatly
misunderstood while at Washington. In a speech, delivered at Brownwell
Court House, South Carolina, October 27, 1858, he astonished some of
his neighbors as well as distant friends and enemies, by the
enunciation of peculiarly moderate views for a South Carolina
Democrat. Let us quote a few paragraphs. First upon Disunion. Says
Senator Hammond:

    "But I will not detain you longer with what belongs to the past.
    The present and the future are what concern us most. You desire to
    know my opinion of the course the South should pursue under
    existing circumstances. I will give you, frankly and fully, the
    results of my observations and reflections on this all-important
    point. The first question is, Do the people of the South consider
    the present Union of these States as an evil in itself, and a
    thing that it is desirable we should get rid of under all
    circumstances? There are some, I know, who do; but I am satisfied
    that an overwhelming majority of the South would, if assured that
    this government was hereafter to be conducted on the true
    principles and construction of the Constitution, decidedly prefer
    to remain in the Union rather than incur the unknown costs and
    hazards of setting up a separate government. I think I say what is
    true when I say that, after all the bitterness that has
    characterized our long warfare, the great body of the southern
    people do not seek disunion, and will not seek it as a primary
    object, however promptly they may accept it as an alternative,
    rather than submit to unconstitutional abridgments of their
    rights. I confess that for many years of my life I believed that
    our only safety was in the dissolution of the Union, and I openly
    avowed it. I should entertain and without hesitation express the
    same sentiments now, but that the victories we have achieved, and
    those I think we are about to achieve, have inspired me with hope,
    I may say the belief, that we can fully sustain ourselves in the
    Union, and control its action in all great affairs."

Upon the African Slave Trade thus speaks the senator:

    "We have it proposed to reopen the African slave trade and bring
    in hordes of slaves from that prolific region to restore the
    balance. I once entertained that idea myself; but, on further
    investigation, I abandoned it. I will not now go into the
    discussion of it further than to say that the South is itself
    divided on that policy, and, from appearances, opposed to it by a
    vast majority, while the North is unanimously against it. It would
    be impossible to get Congress to reopen the trade. If it could be
    done, then it would be unnecessary, for that result could only be
    brought about by such an entire abandonment by the North and the
    world of all opposition to our slave system that we might safely
    cease to erect any defences for it. But if we could introduce
    slaves, where could we find suitable territory for new slave
    States? The Indian Reserve, west of Arkansas, might make one; but
    we have solemnly guaranteed that to the remnants of the red race.
    Everywhere else, I believe, the borders of our States have reached
    the great desert which separates the Atlantic from the Pacific
    States of this Confederacy. Nowhere is African slavery likely to
    flourish in the little oasis of that Sahara of America. It is much
    more likely, I think, to get the Pacific slope and to the north in
    the great valley than anywhere else outside of its present limits.
    Shall we, as some suggest, take Mexico and Central America to make
    slave States? African slavery appears to have failed there.
    Perhaps, and most probably, it will never succeed in those
    regions. If it might, what are we to do with the seven or eight
    millions of hardly semi-civilized Indians and the two or three
    millions of Creole Spaniards and Mongrels who now hold those
    countries? We would not enslave the Indians! Experience has proved
    that they are incapable of steady labor, and are therefore unfit
    for slavery. We would not exterminate them, even if that inhuman
    achievement would not cost ages of murder and incalculable sums of
    money. We could hardly think of attempting to plant the black race
    there, superior for labor, though inferior, perhaps, in intellect,
    and expect to maintain a permanent and peaceful industry, such as
    slave labor must be to be profitable, amid those idle, restless,
    demoralized children of Montezuma, scarcely more civilized,
    perhaps more sunk in superstition, than in his age, and now
    trained to civil war by half a century of incessant revolution.
    What, I say, could we do with these people or these countries to
    add to southern strength? Nothing. Could we degrade ourselves so
    far as to annex them on equal terms, they would be sure to come
    into this Union free States all. To touch them in any way is to be
    contaminated. England and France, I have no doubt, would gladly
    see us take this burden on our back if we would secure for them
    their debts and a neutral route across the Isthmus. Such a route
    we must have for ourselves, and that is all we have to do with
    them. If we can not get it by negotiation or by purchase, we must
    seize and hold it by force of arms. The law of nations would
    justify it, and it is absolutely necessary for our Pacific
    relations. The present condition of those unhappy States is
    certainly deplorable, but the good God holds them in the hollow of
    his hand and will work out their proper destinies."

Upon the Cuban question:

    "We might expand the area of slavery by acquiring Cuba, where
    African slavery is already established. Mr. Calhoun, from whose
    matured opinions, whether on constitutional principles or southern
    policy, it will rarely be found safe to depart, said that Cuba was
    'forbidden fruit' to us unless plucked in an exigency of war.
    There is no reasonable grounds to suppose that we can acquire it
    in any other way; and the war that will open to us such an
    occasion will be great and general, and bring about results that
    the keenest intellect cannot now anticipate. But if we had Cuba,
    we could not make more than two or three slave States there, which
    would not restore the equilibrium of the North and South; while,
    with the African slave trade closed, and her only resort for
    slaves to this continent, she would, besides crushing our whole
    sugar culture by her competition, afford in a few years a market
    for all the slaves in Missouri, Kentucky and Maryland. She is,
    notwithstanding the exorbitant taxes imposed on her, capable now
    of absorbing the annual increase of all the slaves on this
    continent, and consumes, it is said, twenty to thirty thousand a
    year by her system of labor. Slaves decrease there largely. In
    time, under the system practised, every slave in America might be
    exterminated in Cuba as were the Indians. However the idle African
    may procreate in the tropics, it yet remains to be proven, and the
    facts are against the conclusion, that he can in those regions
    work and thrive. It is said Cuba is to be 'Africanized' rather
    than that the United States should take her. That threat, which at
    one time was somewhat alarming, is no longer any cause of
    disquietude to the South, after our experience of the Africanizing
    of St. Domingo and Jamaica. What have we lost by that?"

And finally upon his own position as a National Democrat:

    "And this leads me to say that having never been a mere party
    politician, intriguing and wire-pulling to advance myself or
    others, I am not learned in the rubric of the thousand slang,
    unmeaning and usually false party names to which our age gives
    birth. But I have been given to understand that there are two
    parties in the South, called 'National' and 'State Rights'
    Democrats. The word 'national' having been carefully excluded from
    the Constitution by those who framed it, I never supposed it
    applicable to any principle of our government; and having been
    surrendered to the almost exclusive use in this country of the
    federal consolidationists, I have myself repudiated it. But if a
    southern 'National Democrat' means one who is ready to welcome
    into our ranks with open arms, and cordially embrace and promote
    according to his merits every honest free State man who reads the
    Constitution as we do, and will coöperate with us in its
    maintenance, then I belong to that party, call it as you may, and
    I should grieve to find a southern man who does not.

    "But, on the other hand, having been all my life, and being still,
    an ardent 'State Rights' man--believing 'State Rights' to be an
    essential, nay, the essential, element of the Constitution, and
    that no one who thinks otherwise can stand on the same
    constitutional platform that I do, it seems to me that I am, and
    all those with whom I act habitually are, if Democrats at all,
    true 'State Rights Democrats.' Nothing in public affairs so
    perplexes and annoys me as these absurd party names, and I never
    could be interested in them. I could easily comprehend two great
    parties, standing on two great antagonistic principles which are
    inherent in all things human; the right and the wrong, the good
    and the evil, according to the peculiar views of each individual;
    and was never at a loss to find my side, as now, in what are known
    as the Democratic and Republican parties of this country. But the
    minor distinctions have, for the most part, seemed to me to be
    factitious and factious, gotten up by cunning men for selfish
    purposes, to which the true patriot and honest man should be slow
    to lend himself. For myself and for you, while I represent you, I
    shall go for the Constitution strictly construed and faithfully
    carried out. I will make my fight, such as it may be, by the side
    of any man, whether from the North, South, East or West, who will
    do the same; and I will do homage to his virtue, his ability, his
    courage, and, so far as I can, make just compensation for his
    toils, and hazards, and sacrifices. As to the precise mode and
    manner of conducting this contest, that must necessarily, to a
    great extent, depend upon the exigencies that arise; but, of
    course, I could be compelled by no exigency, by no party ties or
    arrangements, to give up my principles, or the least of those
    principles which constitute our great cause."

Senator Hammond entered the Senate with the reputation of a southern
"Fire-eater," but before a year had passed by, he had taken ground
with the most conservative northern Democrat, on Cuba, the African
slave trade, and the general question of the annexation of foreign
territory to this Union. Here was an apparent change which very
naturally excited the criticisms of the ultra southern politicians.

Gov. Hammond is a native of Newberg District, South Carolina, where he
was born, November 15, 1807. His parents were natives of the State of
New York. He graduated at Columbia College, S.C., practised law from
1828 to 1830, afterward became editor of the "Southern Times," came to
Congress a single term in 1835 and when the two years were over, made
the trip of Europe. In 1841, he was made a militia general--yet
something of an honor in South Carolina--and a year later was elected
Governor of the Palmetto State. After a single term he retired to his
extensive estate upon the Savannah River, where he remained in quiet,
raising cotton and reading books till in 1857 he was elected by the
State legislature to represent, in part, South Carolina in the United
States Senate.

In his personal appearance Senator Hammond is prepossessing. He is of
medium height, has a fine, open face, sparkling black eyes, and black
hair--what there is left--a broad forehead and the manners of a
pleasant gentleman.


Mr. Cobb is a native of Cherry Hill, Georgia, where he was born, in
September, 1815. His father was in affluent circumstances, and the
family one of distinction. He was educated at Franklin College,
Georgia, where he graduated at the age of nineteen, in the year 1834.
His uncle, Howell Cobb, after whom he was named, was in Congress
during the war of 1812, and still later a cousin was U.S. senator. So
the young man had examples in his own family of political distinction
which were calculated to fire his ambition.

In 1834, Mr. Cobb was married, which was set down, we dare say, by his
elderly friends as a very imprudent step, for he was but nineteen and
had no profession; nevertheless, he established his household gods at
that time, and two years after was admitted to the bar. The very next
year he was made solicitor general of the western part of Georgia, so
finely had he succeeded in his profession. For the next three years he
applied himself very closely to the duties of his profession, and
being naturally shrewd and quick-witted, he at once attained unusual
success. To this day, in Upper Georgia, Mr. Cobb has a reputation
unsurpassed by no local favorite.

Early in life, Mr. Cobb was known as a Jackson or Union man, in the
thick of the nullification agitation. Either from education or nature,
he seems from the first to have had a repugnance for ultraism, and has
therefore never agreed with that class of southern politicians usually
termed Fire-eaters.

In 1842, Mr. Cobb was elected to Congress, where he, in a short time,
rose to a prominent position as one of the party leaders among the
Democratic members. He was especially great on parliamentary
questions, and was in his way a party oracle in these matters. Though
he never sympathized with the disunionists of the South, he has been a
consistent as well as an ardent supporter of the institution of negro
slavery. His entire course in Congress showed his strong and
persistent opposition to any of the movements of the friends of
freedom. He voted against the right of petition on the 3d of May,
1844, and made a strong speech in favor of utter free trade. Mr. Cobb
also favored the Mexican war. In 1849, he underwent a severe contest
in Georgia. While in Congress he supported the famous compromise
measures, which secured to him the opposition and enmity of the
southern fire-eaters. The greatest contest of his life ensued. The
Union Democrats put him in nomination for Governor of Georgia, and he
took the stump and was elected by a tremendous majority. In 1855, he
was reëlected to Congress and was soon known as a Buchanan man. He
labored for Mr. Buchanan's nomination, and when he was nominated
canvassed the county in favor of his election. This secured, Mr. Cobb
was rewarded for his services by a seat in the Cabinet, and as he was
thought to be peculiarly fitted for the Treasury Department, he was
made Secretary of the Treasury.

As a member of the Cabinet, Mr. Cobb used his influence in favor of
the Lecompton bill and made war upon Mr. Douglas. During the winter of
1858-9 his recommendations on the tariff question were thought to
indicate a change of opinion. Formerly he was in favor of free trade,
and lacking that, he was in favor of the nearest possible approach to
it. But in his communications to Congress as Secretary of the
Treasury, Mr. Cobb admitted that the revenues of the country were not
sufficient for its expenses, and he recommended a revision of the
tariff to meet the emergency. It is not probable, however, under
present circumstances, that he would favor any change in the tariff.

As a man--socially speaking, we mean--Mr. Cobb is a favorite. Good
natured and intelligent, he is surrounded by scores of friends, who
like him all the better for the fact that he has been independent
enough in his political career to make enemies.


Perhaps no public man has more friends or fewer enemies than Mr.
Breckinridge; but his modesty, or caution, is so great, that but few
particulars of his history have ever got into print. His high position
has attracted the eyes of the nation as well as the Senate to him, and
he has been unanimously pronounced, both by political friend and foe,
to be an impartial presiding officer, and a pleasant and upright man.
His personal appearance is unusually prepossessing, and his social
bearing is such as to win him scores of friends.

Mr. Breckinridge was born near Lexington, Kentucky, January 21, 1821,
and is the grandson of John Breckinridge, who was United States
Senator and Attorney General. He was educated at Central College,
Danville, and studied law at Transylvania Institute. After his
professional education was complete, he emigrated to Iowa, but the
frontier life did not suit him, and he returned to Kentucky, where
there was a better field for the display of his talents. Soon after
his return, he married Miss Birch of Georgetown, Kentucky, and settled
down in Lexington in the practice of his profession. When the Mexican
war broke out, he volunteered at once to take a part in it, and was
elected Major of the Third Regiment of Kentucky volunteers. The
regiment came to the scene of strife so late that they did not see
much active service.

Upon Mr. Breckinridge's return from Mexico, he was elected to the
State legislature, and in 1851, after an exciting contest with General
Leslie Coomb, he was elected to Congress. In 1853, a still fiercer
canvass ensued; but he was reëlected to the House by a heavy majority.
One of his first acts was to deliver a eulogy upon Henry Clay, a
political opponent.

In the Thirty-third Congress, an unpleasant scene occurred between Mr.
Breckinridge and Mr. Cutting of New York, upon the Kansas and Nebraska
act. Mr. Cutting, though a Democrat, refused to support that measure,
while Mr. Breckinridge supported it with considerable zeal.

The debate occurred March 27, 1854, and we quote from a report of it:

    "The House of Representatives, Monday, resolved itself into
    committee of the whole on the Custom House bill, Mr. Hamilton in
    the chair; but the chairman decided that before that bill could be
    taken up, all those preceding it must first be set aside; and that
    the first business in order was the consideration of the bill
    making appropriations for the civil and diplomatic expenses of the
    Government for the year ending June 30, 1855. Mr. Houston moved
    that the committee take up the bill named by the Chair, which was
    agreed to.

    "Mr. Cutting then arose and replied to the remarks made by Mr.
    Breckinridge on Thursday last. He adverted to his course in moving
    that the Senate Nebraska bill be committed to the committee of the
    whole on the state of the Union, and said that at that time he
    gave his reasons for the act, and declared that there was no
    gentleman on this floor who was to be regarded as a stronger and
    more zealous advocate of the great principle which the measure was
    said to contain--that of non-intervention--than he was. But the
    bill required amendment and discussion before it could receive
    that support to which, in his opinion, it was entitled. After this
    subject had been disposed of, and after the elapse of some two
    days, a gentleman from a slaveholding State, who had had no lot or
    parcel in its discussion, as a volunteer merely, came into the
    House, and thought it not incompatible with his character as a
    leading member to undertake to assail his motives; though it was
    true that he disclaimed any intention of attacking them. The
    gentleman [Mr. Breckinridge] came into the House, with
    concentrated wrath and bitterness, to assail him for having, in
    his place, and under his responsibility as a member, stated his
    views frankly as to the direction this bill ought to take.

    "The gentleman had charged him with being a secret enemy of the
    bill, and, while professing friendship for it, as having taken a
    course which would end in its destruction. When did the gentleman
    from Kentucky ever hear him say he was friendly to the bill? The
    gentleman was present, and heard him declare his opposition to it
    in the shape in which it came from the Senate, and the belief that
    not only himself, but a majority of the House, would be found
    against it. Had not the gentleman sufficient perspicuity of
    understanding to know the difference between the principles
    involved in a measure and a bill which professed to carry them
    out? And when he [Mr. C.] declared in this House frankly and
    openly, before the question on the motion to commit was put, that
    he was against the bill, but in favor of the principles which it
    professed to enact, how came the gentleman to undertake to declare
    that he [Mr. C.] had declared himself a friend of the bill,
    against the record, against the reports that appeared everywhere?

    "The gentleman had complained that by the motion to commit he [Mr.
    C.] had consigned this measure to the tomb of the Capulets. If
    this were so, and this bill could never again be brought before
    the House, why did the gentleman submit to an hour's argument to
    prove that it ought to pass? It was time wasted, time thrown away.
    No gentleman acquainted with the orders of the calendar could for
    a moment believe that sending this bill to the committee of the
    whole would prevent action on it this session. The gentleman had
    said that there were scores and scores of bills before it on the
    calendar. Now, what was the fact? There were some eighteen or
    nineteen bills and resolutions, all told, large and small, of
    great and little degree, ahead of it on the calendar, including
    appropriation bills, which were subject to the control of the
    committee of ways and means. Then why, with this fact staring the
    gentleman in the face, did the gentleman undertake, for the
    purpose of making an assault on him, to declare that there were
    scores upon scores of bills before this measure on the calendar?
    By what authority did the gentleman, who had a supposed connection
    with the Administration, complain of him, a friend of the measure,
    of undertaking to send it to a tomb, where there was a mountain
    piled upon it, for the purpose of creating a false impression in
    the public mind?

    "For the course he had seen proper to pursue he had been assailed
    in papers of this city (one of them, the "Union," it was said,
    conducted by the clerk of this House), and by other presses. How
    was it that he, a friend of the measure, had been selected as a
    victim to drive off those who had given the principle their
    support? Was it to assassinate the friends who had stood with him
    on this subject?

    "MR. BRECKINRIDGE.--Does the gentleman intend to apply that remark
    to me?

    "MR. CUTTING.--Not unless you consider yourself a portion of the
    Union newspaper.

    "MR. BRECKINRIDGE.--I was at that moment taking a note, and heard
    the word. I would ask whether the gentleman applied the remark to

    "MR. CUTTING.--I did not. I am the only one charged with being an

    "He had been subject to the continual attacks of New York papers,
    which, while opposing this measure, were enjoying the patronage of
    the Administration.

    "In the course of his remarks, he said that there was but one
    single ground upon which the Democracy of the North could stand,
    and that was the principle of non-intervention. If this was found
    in the bill, he should vote for it; and the reason why he wished
    it referred was for the purpose of examining into the matter, that
    there might be a distinct and plain understanding between the
    different sections of the country, as to the character of the act,
    so that there might be no misunderstanding upon the subject of the
    principles contained in it.

    "Mr. Breckinridge said that he had forborne to interrupt the
    gentleman; but whilst his remarks were fresh in his mind he wished
    to reply.

    "Mr. Cutting yielded, and no objection was made to Mr. B.'s

    "Mr. Breckinridge said that he had listened to the gentleman from
    New York, who had not met a single position which he took the
    other day. He had been amazed at the manner in which a man of
    intellectual ingenuity had twisted and distorted words and
    opinions out of their proper connections.

    "He explained that the reason why he permitted two days to elapse
    before he replied to the gentleman, was because the gentleman
    himself after making his speech the other day on the motion to
    commit, put down the hatchway of the previous question, so that he
    was denied an opportunity of responding to him.

    "He had said, and he now repeated, that with the gentleman's
    motives he had nothing to do; he had made and should make no
    attack upon them. When he spoke of the movement of the gentleman,
    he characterized it as one the effect of which would be to kill
    the bill, and said that after the question was decided, he was
    surrounded by every abolitionist in the hall, and received their
    congratulations for the course he had pursued. He did not intend
    to charge the gentleman with intentionally playing the part of an
    assassin; but said, and could not take it back, that the act, to
    all intents, was like throwing one arm around it in friendship,
    and stabbing it with the other--to kill the bill.

    "The gentleman from New York had said that there were but eighteen
    or nineteen bills before the Nebraska bill on the calendar?

    "MR. ENGLISH.--There are fifty bills before the Senate bill.

    "MR. CUTTING.--Before the House bill?

    "MR. BRECKINRIDGE.--I will nail the gentleman to the counter
    there. 'Before the House bill?' says he. 'Why, I give up that we
    will never reach the Senate bill, but we will reach the House
    bill.' But did not the gentleman say that his object in moving to
    commit the bill was that he might discuss the bill and examine the
    Badger proviso? And is not the Badger amendment contained in the
    Senate bill? Thus it would be seen that the bill which the
    gentleman moved to commit for the purpose of examining into could
    never be reached.

    "The meaning of the gentleman's remarks about the press was, that
    he (Mr. B.) had acted in concert with papers in this city to drive
    the gentleman from the support of the bill. Was it not a low
    ambition for a man to take a course against a measure because
    another was for it? Did the gentleman suppose that twenty
    Administrations could ever drive him (Mr. B.) from his position?
    Even if the Administration were against the bill, he (Mr. B.)
    would go for it. They should never influence him in this respect.
    He had no more connection with the Administration than any other
    gentleman on this floor.

    "The gentleman had said that he (Mr. B.) was the last individual
    whom he supposed would have made an assault on him, because in the
    hour of his greatest need the Hards came to his assistance. This
    innuendo was so deep that he could not understand it, and
    therefore asked for an explanation.

    "MR. CUTTING replied, that he had been informed that during the
    canvass in Kentucky, it having been intimated that the gentleman's
    friends needed assistance to accomplish his election, his friends
    in New York made up a subscription of some $1,500, and transmitted
    it to Kentucky, to be employed for the benefit of the gentleman,
    who is now the peer of Presidents and Cabinets. [Laughter.]

    "MR. BRECKINRIDGE.--And not only the peer of Presidents and
    Cabinets, but the peer of the gentleman from New York, fully and
    in every respect.

    "MR. BRECKINRIDGE, resuming, said that the gentleman should have
    known the truth of what he uttered before he pronounced it on this
    floor. He (Mr. B.) was not aware that any intimations were sent
    from Kentucky that funds were needed to aid in his election, nor
    was he aware that they were received. He did not undertake to say
    what the fact might be in regard to what the gentleman had said,
    but he had no information whatever on that fact. He (Mr. B.) came
    here not by the aid of money, but against the use of money.
    [Applause.] The gentleman could not escape by any subtlety, or by
    any ingenuity, a thorough and complete exposure of any ingenious
    device to which he might resort for the purpose of putting
    gentlemen in a false position, and the sooner he stopped that
    game, the better.

    "MR. CUTTING said that he had given the gentleman an opportunity
    of indulging in one of the most violent, inflammatory, and
    personal assaults that had ever been known upon this floor; and he
    would ask, how could the gentleman disclaim any attack upon him
    when he followed it up by declaring that his (Mr. C.'s) intention
    and motive was to destroy a measure for which he professed

    "MR. BRECKINRIDGE asked the gentleman to point to the occasion
    when he made such a remark.

    "MR. CUTTING submitted to the committee that the whole tenor and
    scope of the speech of the gentleman from Kentucky was an attack
    upon his motives in moving to commit the bill. It was in vain for
    the gentleman to attempt to escape by disclaiming it; the fact was
    before the committee. But he would say to the gentleman that he
    scorned his imputation. How dare the gentleman undertake to assert
    that he had professed friendship for the measure, with a view to
    kill it, to assassinate it by sending it to the bottom of the
    calendar? And then, when he said that the committee of the whole
    had under its control the House bill upon this identical subject,
    which the committee intended to take up, discuss, amend, and
    report to the House, the gentleman skulked behind the Senate bill,
    which had been sent to the foot of the calendar!

    "MR. BRECKINRIDGE.--I ask the gentleman to withdraw that last

    "MR. CUTTING.--I withdraw nothing. I have uttered what I have said
    in answer to one of the most violent and most personal attacks
    that has ever been witnessed upon this floor.

    "MR. BRECKINRIDGE.--Then, when the gentleman says I skulk, he says
    what is false.

    "THE CHAIR.--The gentleman is not in order.

    "MR. CUTTING.--I do not intend upon this floor to answer the
    remark which the gentleman from Kentucky has thought proper to
    employ. It belongs to a different region. It is not here that I
    will desecrate my lips with undertaking to retort in that manner.

    "Mr. C. then declared that in moving to commit the bill, his
    object was to get it in such a shape as would be satisfactory to
    the country, and put at rest the outcries of fanaticism which now
    prevailed throughout the land.

    "He desired peace and harmony, and would suggest to gentlemen who
    were anxious for the passage of the bill, that it was not the best
    mode of accomplishing their object by assailing those who
    proclaimed themselves favorable to its principles and its great
    cardinal outlines. It seemed to him, if gentlemen desired the
    success of the bill, it would answer a better purpose if they
    would turn their batteries upon its enemies, rather than attempt
    to destroy those who were its friends."

The result was, that the preliminaries of a duel were arranged, but
fortunately, by the interposition of friends, an amicable adjustment
of the difficulty was arrived at.

When Mr. Pierce was in power, he offered Mr. Breckinridge the Spanish
mission, but he refused it. In 1856, he was put upon the Democratic
ticket and elected Vice-President of the United States.

The official position of Mr. Breckinridge has been such as to render
his position on some of the present political issues somewhat
doubtful. He is, of course, a believer in the old Democratic creed,
and is a moderate supporter of the South and her institutions. It was
generally understood at Washington, during the Lecompton struggle,
that he sided with the President against Mr. Douglas--in other words,
was in favor of the bill. He was a warm supporter of Mr. Douglas in
1854, and his great measure, the Kansas act. In the last session of
Congress, Mr. Breckinridge gave his casting vote to postpone the
consideration of the Homestead bill, which gives an indication of his
hostility to the measure. He is a very fair politician, of unspotted
integrity as a man, and is possessed of talents of high order, such as
fit him to occupy with ability any office within the gift of the


The leadership of Mr. Fremont in a Presidential campaign has doubtless
made his name and history familiar to all intelligent men, but the
fact that he is a prominent candidate for the Presidency in 1860,
makes it proper to give in this volume an outline sketch of his life.
Aside from this, such men as Fremont, whether Presidential candidate
or not, whether President or not, are the great, daring,
characteristic, men of our times, and their deeds should always be
held in remembrance.

Mr. Fremont is a native of Savannah, Georgia, where he was born, June
21, 1813. At an early age he entered the law office of John W.
Mitchell, of Charleston, where he gave such indications of talent,
that Mr. Mitchell bestowed unusual pains upon his education, placing
him under the care of an excellent teacher, Dr. Robertson, a Scotch
gentleman, who carried him through the classics. At the age of
sixteen, young Fremont was confirmed in the Protestant Episcopal
church. In 1833, the sloop-of-war Natchez entered the port of
Charleston and was ordered from there to South America. Fremont, just
twenty years old, got the situation of teacher of mathematics aboard
of her, and made a cruise of two and a half years. Upon his return, he
was made professor of mathematics and appointed to the frigate
Independence. He afterward made one of a corps of topographical
engineers to explore a route of a railway from Charleston to
Cincinnati. It was here that Fremont got his first experience of camp
life. He went next to the Upper Mississippi on a similar undertaking.

In 1841, Mr. Fremont was ordered to examine the Desmoines River, in
Iowa--then a wilderness; and when it was performed, he returned to
marry Jessie Benton, the young daughter of Thomas H. Benton. The next
year he projected his first great exploring expedition to the Rocky
Mountains, setting out from Washington, May 2, 1842. The results of
the expedition were great and made a deep impression upon the
Government and nation, and a second expedition was ordered, much more
complete in preparation than the first. The party left Kansas in May,
1843, and did not get back to the United States until August of 1844.
The tour was full of dangers and thrilling incidents, and the results
were still more striking than those of the first expedition. Col.
Benton sketched the expedition in a few eloquent words, as follows:

    "'The Government deserves credit for the zeal with which it has
    pursued geographical discovery.' Such is the remark which a
    leading paper made upon the discoveries of Fremont, on his return
    from his second expedition to the great West; and such is the
    remark which all writers will make upon all his discoveries who
    write history from public documents and outside views. With all
    such writers the expeditions of Fremont will be credited to the
    zeal of the Government for the promotion of science, as if the
    Government under which he acted had conceived and planned these
    expeditions, as Mr. Jefferson did that of Lewis and Clark, and
    then selected this young officer to carry into effect the
    instructions delivered to him. How far such history would be true
    in relation to the first expedition, which terminated in the Rocky
    Mountains, has been seen in the account which has been given of
    the origin of that undertaking, and which leaves the Government
    innocent of its conception; and, therefore, not entitled to the
    credit of its authorship, but only to the merit of permitting it.
    In the second, and greater expedition, from which great political
    as well as scientific results have flowed, their merit is still
    less; for, while equally innocent of its conception, they were not
    equally passive to its performance--countermanding the expedition
    after it had begun--and lavishing censure upon the adventurous
    young explorer for his manner of undertaking it. The fact was,
    that his first expedition barely finished, Mr. Fremont sought and
    obtained orders for a second one, and was on the frontier of
    Missouri with his command, when orders arrived at St. Louis to
    stop him, on the ground that he had made a military equipment
    which the peaceful nature of his geographical pursuit did not
    require! as if Indians did not kill and rob scientific men as well
    as others, if not in a condition to defend themselves. The
    particular point of complaint was that he had taken a small
    mountain howitzer, in addition to his rifles; and which, he was
    informed, was charged to him, although it had been furnished upon
    a regular requisition on the commandant of the arsenal at St.
    Louis, approved by the commander of the military department
    (Colonel, afterward General Kearney). Mr. Fremont had left St.
    Louis, and was at the frontier, Mrs. Fremont being requested to
    examine the letters that came after him, and forward those which
    he ought to receive. She read the countermanding orders and
    detained them! and Fremont knew nothing of their existence, until
    after he had returned from one of the most marvellous and eventful
    expeditions of modern times--one to which the United States are
    indebted (among other things) for the present ownership of
    California, instead of seeing it a British possession. The writer
    of this view, who was then in St. Louis, approved of the course
    which his daughter had taken (for she had stopped the orders
    before he knew it); and he wrote a letter to the department
    condemning the recall, repulsing the reprimand which had been
    lavished upon Fremont, and demanding a court martial for him when
    he should return. The Secretary of War was then Mr. James Madison
    Porter, of Pennsylvania; the chief of the topographical corps the
    same as now (Colonel Abert), himself an office man, surrounded by
    West Point officers, to whose pursuit of easy service, Fremont's
    adventurous expedition was a reproach; and in conformity to whose
    opinions the secretary seemed to have acted. On Fremont's return,
    upward of a year afterward, Mr. William Wilkins, of Pennsylvania,
    was Secretary of War, and received the young explorer with all
    honor and friendship, and obtained for him the brevet of captain
    from President Tyler. And such is the inside view of this piece of
    history--very different from what documentary evidence would make

    "To complete his survey across the continent, on the line of
    travel between the State of Missouri and the tide-water region of
    the Columbia, was Fremont's object in this expedition; and it was
    all that he had obtained orders for doing; but only a small part,
    and to his mind, an insignificant part, of what he proposed doing.
    People had been to the mouth of the Columbia before, and his
    ambition was not limited to making tracks where others had made
    them before him. There was a vast region beyond the Rocky
    Mountains--the whole western slope of our continent--of which but
    little was known; and of that little, nothing with the accuracy of
    science. All that vast region, more than seven hundred miles
    square--equal to a great kingdom in Europe--was an unknown land--a
    sealed book, which he longed to open, and to read. Leaving the
    frontier of Missouri in May, 1843, and often diverging from his
    route for the sake of expanding his field of observation, he had
    arrived in the tide-water region of Columbia in the month of
    November; and had then completed the whole service which his
    orders embraced. He might then have returned upon his tracks, or
    been brought home by sea, or hunted the most pleasant path for
    getting back; and if he had been a routine officer, satisfied with
    fulfilling an order, he would have done so. Not so the young
    explorer, who held his diploma from nature, and not from the
    United States Military Academy. He was, at Fort Vancouver, guest
    of the hospitable Dr. McLaughlin, Governor of the British Hudson
    Bay Fur Company; and obtained from him all possible information
    upon his intended line of return--faithfully given, but which
    proved to be disastrously erroneous in its leading and governing
    feature. A southeast route, to cross the great unknown region
    diagonally through its heart (making a line from the Lower
    Columbia to the Upper Colorado of the Gulf of California), was his
    line of return; twenty-five men (the same who had come with him
    from the United States) and a hundred horses, were his equipment;
    and the commencement of winter the time of starting--all without a
    guide, relying upon their guns for support; and, in the last
    resort, upon their horses--such as should give out! for one that
    could carry a man, or a pack, could not be spared for food.

    "All the maps up to that time had shown this region traversed from
    east to west--from the base of the Rocky Mountains to the bay of
    San Francisco--by a great river called the _Buena Ventura_: which
    may be translated, the _Good Chance_. Governor McLaughlin believed
    in the existence of this river, and made out a conjectural
    manuscript map to show its place and course. Fremont believed in
    it, and his plan was to reach it before the dead of winter, and
    then hibernate upon it. As a great river, he knew that it must
    have some rich bottoms, covered with wood and grass, where the
    wild animals would collect and shelter, when the snows and
    freezing winds drove them from the plains: and with these animals
    to live on, and grass for the horses, and wood for fires, he
    expected to avoid suffering, if not to enjoy comfort, during his
    solitary sojourn in that remote and profound wilderness.

    "He proceeded--soon encountered deep snows, which impeded progress
    upon the highlands--descended into a low country to the left
    (afterward known to be the Great Basin, from which no water issues
    to any sea)--skirted an enormous chain of mountain on the right,
    luminous with the glittering white snow--saw strange Indians, who
    mostly fled--found a desert--no Buena Ventura; and death from cold
    and famine staring him in the face. The failure to find the river,
    or tidings of it, and the possibility of its existence seeming to
    be forbid by the structure of the country, and hibernation in the
    inhospitable desert being impossible, and the question being that
    of life and death, some new plan of conduct became indispensable.
    His celestial observations told him that he was in the latitude of
    the bay of San Francisco, and only seventy miles from it. But what
    miles! up and down that snowy mountain which the Indians told him
    no men could cross in the winter--which would have snow upon it as
    deep as the trees, and places where people would slip off, and
    fall half a mile at a time;--a fate which actually befell a mule,
    packed with the precious burden of botanical specimens, collected
    along a travel of two thousand miles. No reward could induce an
    Indian to become a guide in the perilous adventure of crossing
    this mountain. All recoiled and fled from the adventure. It was
    attempted without a guide--in the dead of winter--accomplished in
    forty days--the men and surviving horses, a woeful procession,
    crawling along one by one--skeleton men leading skeleton
    horses--and arriving at Sutter's Settlement in the beautiful
    valley of the Sacramento; and where a genial warmth, and budding
    flowers, and trees in foliage, the grassy ground, and flowing
    streams, and comfortable food, made a fairy contrast with the
    famine and freezing they had encountered, and the lofty Sierra
    Nevada which they had climbed. Here he rested and recruited; and
    from this point, and by way of Monterey, the first tidings were
    heard of the party since leaving Fort Vancouver.

    "Another long progress to the south, skirting the western base of
    the Sierra Nevada, made him acquainted with the noble valley of
    the San Joaquin, counterpart to that of the Sacramento; when
    crossing through a gap, and turning to the left, he skirted the
    Great Basin; and by many deviations from the right line home,
    levied incessant contributions to science from expanded lands, not
    described before. In this eventful exploration, all the great
    features of the western slope of our continent were brought to
    light--the Great Salt Lake, the Utah Lake, the Little Salt Lake;
    at all which places, then deserts, the Mormons now are; the Sierra
    Nevada, then solitary in the snow, now crowded with Americans,
    digging gold from its flanks; the beautiful valleys of the
    Sacramento and San Joaquin, then alive with wild horses, elk,
    deer, and wild fowls, now smiling with American cultivation, the
    Great Basin itself, and its contents; the Three Parks; the
    approximation of the great rivers which, rising together in the
    central region of the Rocky Mountains, go off east and west,
    toward the rising and the setting sun--all these, and other
    strange features of a new region, more Asiatic than American, were
    brought to light and revealed to public view in the results of
    this exploration.

    "Eleven months he was never out of sight of snow; and sometimes,
    freezing with cold, would look down upon a sunny valley, warm with
    genial heat; sometimes, panting with the summer's heat, would look
    up at the eternal snows which crowned the neighboring mountain.
    But it was not then that California was secured to the Union--to
    the greatest power of the new world--to which it of right
    belonged; but it was the first step toward the acquisition, and
    the one that led to it. The second expedition led to a third, just
    in time to snatch the golden California from the hands of the
    British, ready to clutch it. But of this hereafter. Fremont's
    second expedition was now over. He had left the United States a
    fugitive from his Government, and returned with a name that went
    over Europe and America, and with discoveries bearing fruit which
    the civilized world is now enjoying."

In 1845, the third expedition of Col. Fremont was made--principally
intended to explore the Great Basin and country of Oregon and

    "He approached these settlements in the winter of 1845-6. Aware of
    the critical state of affairs between the United States and
    Mexico, and determined to give no cause of offence to the
    authorities of the province, with commendable prudence he haulted
    his command on the frontier, one hundred miles from Monterey, and
    proceeded alone to that city to explain the object of his coming
    to the commandant general, Castro, and to obtain permission to go
    to the valley of the San Joaquin, where there was game for his men
    and grass for his horses, and no inhabitants to be molested by his
    presence. The leave was granted; but scarcely had he reached the
    desired spot for refreshment and repose, before he received
    information from the American settlements, and by express from our
    Consul at Monterey, that General Castro was preparing to attack
    him with a comparatively large force of artillery, cavalry and
    infantry, upon the pretext that, under the cover of a scientific
    mission, he was exciting the American settlers to revolt. In view
    of this danger and to be in a condition to repel an attack, he
    then took a position on a mountain overlooking Monterey, at a
    distance of about thirty miles, intrenched it, raised the flag of
    the United States, and with his own men, sixty-two in number,
    awaited the approach of the commandant general.

    "From the 7th to the 10th of March, Colonel Fremont and his little
    band maintained this position. General Castro did not approach
    within attacking distance, and Colonel Fremont, adhering to his
    plan of avoiding all collisions, and determined neither to
    compromise his Government nor the American settlers, ready to join
    him at all hazards, if he had been attacked, abandoned his
    position, and commenced his march for Oregon, intending by that
    route to return to the United States. Deeming all danger from the
    Mexicans to be past, he yielded to the wishes of some of his men
    who desired to remain in the country, discharged them from his
    service, and refused to receive others in their stead, so cautious
    was he to avoid doing anything which would compromit the American
    settlers or give even a color of offence to the Mexican
    authorities. He pursued his march slowly and leisurely, as the
    state of his men and horses required, until the middle of May, and
    had reached the northern shore of the greater Tlamath Lake, within
    the limits of the Oregon territory, when he found his further
    progress in that direction obstructed by impassable snowy
    mountains and hostile Indians, who, having been excited against
    him by General Castro, had killed and wounded four of his men, and
    left him no repose either in camp or on his march. At the same
    time, information reached him that General Castro, in addition to
    his Indian allies, was advancing in person against him with
    artillery and cavalry, at the head of four or five hundred men;
    that they were passing around the head of the Bay of San Francisco
    to a rendezvous on the north side of it, and that the American
    settlers in the valley of the Sacramento were comprehended in the
    scheme of destruction meditated against his own party.

    "Under these circumstances, he determined to turn upon his Mexican
    pursuers, and seek safety both for his own party and the American
    settlers, not merely in the defeat of Castro, but in the total
    overthrow of the Mexican authority in California, and the
    establishment of an independent government in that extensive
    department. It was on the 6th of June, and before the commencement
    of the war between the United States and Mexico could have there
    been known, that this resolution was taken; and, by the 5th of
    July, it was carried into effect by a series of rapid attacks, by
    a small body of adventurous men, under the conduct of an intrepid
    leader, quick to perceive and able to direct the proper measures
    for accomplishing such a daring enterprise.

    "On the 11th of June, a convoy of 200 horses for Castro's camp,
    with an officer and 14 men, were surprised and captured by 12 of
    Fremont's party. On the 15th, at daybreak, the military post of
    Sonoma was also surprised and taken, with nine brass cannon, 250
    stand of muskets, and several officers and some men and munitions
    of war.

    "Leaving a small garrison at Sonoma, Colonel Fremont went to the
    Sacramento to rouse the American settlers; but scarcely had he
    arrived there, when an express reached him from the garrison at
    Sonoma, with information that Castro's whole force was crossing
    the bay to attack that place. This intelligence was received in
    the afternoon of the 23d of June, while he was on the American
    fork of the Sacramento, 80 miles from the little garrison at
    Sonoma; and, at two o'clock on the morning of the 25th, he arrived
    at that place with 90 riflemen from the American settlers in that
    valley. The enemy had not yet appeared. Scouts were sent out to
    reconnoitre, and a party of 20 fell in with a squadron of 70
    dragoons (all of Castro's force which had crossed the bay),
    attacked and defeated it, killing and wounding five, without harm
    to themselves; the Mexican commander, De la Torre, barely escaping
    with the loss of his transport boats and nine pieces of brass
    artillery, spiked.

    "The country north of the bay of San Francisco, being cleared of
    the enemy, Colonel Fremont returned to Sonoma on the evening of
    the 4th of July, and on the morning of the 5th, called the people
    together, explained to them the condition of things in the
    province, and recommended an immediate declaration of
    independence. The declaration was made, and he was selected to
    take the chief direction of affairs.

    "The attack on Castro was the next object. He was at Santa Clara,
    an intrenched post on the upper or south side of the Bay of San
    Francisco, with 400 men and two pieces of field artillery. A
    circuit of more than a hundred miles must be traversed to reach
    him. On the 6th of July the pursuit was commenced, by a body of
    160 mounted riflemen, commanded by Colonel Fremont in person, who,
    in three days, arrived at the American settlements on the Rio de
    los Americanos. Here he learnt that Castro had abandoned Santa
    Clara, and was retreating south toward Ciudad de los Angeles (the
    city of the Angels), the seat of the Governor General of the
    Californias, and distant 400 miles. It was instantly resolved on
    to pursue him to that place. At the moment of departure, the
    gratifying intelligence was received that war with Mexico had
    commenced; that Monterey had been taken by our naval force, and
    the flag of the United States there raised on the 7th of July; and
    that the fleet would coöperate in the pursuit of Castro and his
    forces. The flag of independence was hauled down, and that of the
    United States hoisted, amidst the hearty greetings and to the
    great joy of the American settlers and the forces under the
    command of Colonel Fremont.

    "The combined pursuit was rapidly continued; and on the 12th of
    August, Commodore Stockton and Colonel Fremont, with a detachment
    of marines from the squadron and some riflemen, entered the City
    of the Angels, without resistance or objection; the Governor
    General, Pico, the Commandant General, Castro, and all the Mexican
    authorities, having fled and dispersed. Commodore Stockton took
    possession of the whole country as a conquest of the United
    States, and appointed Colonel Fremont Governor, under the law of
    nations; to assume the functions of that office when he should
    return to the squadron.

    "Thus, in the short space of sixty days from the first decisive
    movement, this conquest was achieved by a small body of men, to an
    extent beyond their own expectation; for the Mexican authorities
    proclaimed it a conquest, not merely of the northern part, but of
    the whole province of the Californias.

    "The Commandant General, Castro, on the 9th of August, from his
    camp at the Mesa, and next day 'on the road to Sonora,' announced
    this result to the people, together with the actual flight and
    dispersion of the former authorities; and at the same time, he
    officially communicated the fact of the conquest to the French,
    English, and Spanish Consuls in California; and to crown the
    whole, the official paper of the Mexican government, on the 16th
    of October, in laying these official communications before the
    public, introduced them with the emphatic declaration, 'The loss
    of the Californias is consummated.'

    "The whole province was yielded up to the United States, and is
    now in our military occupancy. A small part of the troops sent out
    to subject this province will constitute, it is presumed, a
    sufficient force to retain our possession, and the remainder will
    be disposable for other objects of the war."

We shall not stop to examine the Stockton and the Kearney controversies,
the Monroe duel, nor the troubles which beset the gallant explorer and
officer. Suffice it to say, that out of all he came with clean hands,
and an unspotted reputation. Though a court martial, asked for by
himself, sentenced him to be dismissed the service for disobedience of
orders, or rather for not selecting the proper officer in California
to obey, the President remitted the penalty. Too proud to hold an
office in any army of any nation under such circumstances, Col.
Fremont tendered his resignation as Lieutenant Colonel in the United
States army.

It was the old story of the triumph of Red Tapism and dull routine
over genius and services of transcendent importance; but, however Col.
Fremont might fare before a board of jealous officers, the people took
his cause up, and make him a hero. From all parts of the land, and
from countries over the sea, letters of congratulation and admiration
of his scientific explorations, poured in upon him.

In October, 1848, Mr. Fremont set out upon his _fourth_ trip over the
Rocky Mountains, which proved to be the most dangerous and fearful of
all. Though 120 mules were frozen in one night, and some of his
comrades were starved, he had succeeded in reaching California. The
trip was made entirely at his own expense, but its results were given
in the journals at the time for the benefit of the nation.

The year previous to his fourth Overland Expedition, Col. Fremont had,
for $3,000, bought the since famous "Mariposa Estate," which will
eventually make him a very wealthy man, if he succeeds in establishing
his rights in California.

In 1849, General Taylor appointed Fremont Commissioner to run the
boundary line between the United States and Mexico; but while he was
deliberating upon an acceptance or declination, the new legislature of
California, assembled at San Jose, elected him United States Senator.
In the Senate his course was distinguished by great industry and
indefatigable exertion in favor of his constituents, and it was much
regretted by those who knew the youthful senator, that he chose the
short term, so that his term of office expired in March, 1851. In the
Constitutional Convention in California, Col. Fremont had taken a very
decided part against slavery, and in Congress his course had been so
unpartisan that he lost the support of his party, and a reëlection was
out of the question. His subsequent history is known to every man. He
was nominated in 1856 by the Republican party as its candidate for the
Presidency, and polled a tremendous vote. The enthusiasm in his favor
in the East and the Northwest, was intense, and in the opinion of
many, nothing but the intervention of a third candidate--Mr.
Fillmore--prevented his election.

Mr. Fremont, _as a politician_, is little known to the country, for he
has had little to do with politics, and is uncorrupted. He is,
however, known to favor, first of all things, a Pacific railroad, is
opposed to lawless filibusterism, and thoroughly in favor of the
supremacy of free labor over slave labor. He unhesitatingly indorsed
the Philadelphia platform, and can always be relied on to oppose the
schemes of the slavery-propagandists.

As _a man_, Col. Fremont is known to the country to be fearless,
brave, devoted to fulfilling all his duties, and ready to brave the
frowns of millions, if necessary, in redeeming a pledge. Such a man
can be _trusted_, whether in or out of office.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Presidential Candidates: - containing Sketches, Biographical, Personal and Political, - of Prominent Candidates for the Presidency in 1860" ***

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